TREE cheers for a “defiant” lone Scottish hawthorn.

The tree at Kippford, near Dalbeattie on the Solway Coast, has been named the Woodland Trust’s UK Tree of the Year. Described as “not spectacular in size” but having a “striking presence”, it has beaten nine other rivals and will now go on to represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year competition.

It is the second year in a row the award has gone to the Dumfries and Galloway region after “The Survivor” rowan in 2020.

The Kippford hawthorn took 38% of the vote which was twice the share of the second-placed Monterey cypress tree from Saundersfoot in Wales.

READ MORE: 'Superb' Scottish hawthorn wins UK Tree of the Year competition

Third place went to an “exceptional” parasol beech in Parkanaur Forest Park, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Tree surgeon Drew Patterson, 57, who nominated the winning hawthorn, said he was delighted to see such a “beautiful specimen” take the prize.

His father, grandfather and great-grandfather all came from nearby Dalbeattie, so it is a tree the family knows well.

“It is a superb hawthorn and it’s incredible it has survived this well having been climbed on, battered by the winds and even bumped into by cars turning,” he said, adding that he had “fond memories” of the tree and has pictures of his grandfather and mother in front of it.

Adam Cormack, of the Woodland Trust, said the tree – also known as the “Kippford Leaning Tree” – was a worthy winner.

He said: “We’ve had winners of all shapes and sizes in previous years and this is a tree that stands out for different reasons.

“It is also a special tree for Drew because of the family significance, which highlights the importance individual trees can have.

“Lots of trees are equally meaningful to someone, providing a connection and treasured memories.”

Of course, many of us have a tree of the year.

Ours seems to get later every year. But at last, on Thursday, we put up our Christmas tree.

I can’t say it’s the bonniest we’ve ever had. Let’s just say it has character. It certainly has the wonkiest leader I’ve ever seen on a fir tree.

This, however, is not noticeable now the fairy is on top.

The fairy is something of an heirloom … and a bone of contention. My husband is not a fan. Every year he questions why we must have a 60-year-old plastic

doll with no knickers and a frayed satin frock adorning our Christmas tree.

But my gran made that frock!

Admittedly, she has seen better days. Perhaps Fairy had partaken of too many Christmas sherries, but this year her head was lolling hopelessly, and I had to strap it to the wonky leader with a length of tinsel.

She probably deserves to be retired, but we would miss her. Anyway, come January she’ll be wrapped up again in one of my dad’s old shirts and allowed to rest in a darkened cupboard until next year. Whatever that might bring ...

I wish you a happy and healthy Christmas.