In a sad day for Pembrokeshire, a national competition has cast Pembroke Dock into shade.

In a hotly contested competition, a 142-year-old Pembroke Dock Ginkgo tree has come second in Wales’ 2019 Tree of the Year.

The competition, which is in many ways the Oscars of the arboreal world, saw seven spectacular trees shortlisted in the battle for votes in this year’s competition.

The winner of this year’s competition was the 400-year-old sweet chestnut tree in Pontypool Park.

Results were announced at a ceremony at the Pierhead Building at the Senedd, hosted by John Griffiths AM.

Pembroke Dock’s Ginkgo received 464 votes, versus the 606 for Pontypool’s sweet chestnut.

The Ginkgo of Pembroke Dock was planted by the Japanese Admiral Togo Heihachiro in 1877 after studying in the UK and staying at the Master Shipwrights House while the Japanese warship Hiei was built in Pembroke Dock.

He donated a Japanese Gingko sapling to be planted in the garden of the house.

Togo later became an Admiral and defeated the Russian navy in 1905. In Japan he is revered as the Nelson of the East.

As a runner up the Ginkgo tree has been awarded £500, which might be spent on works to benefit the tree’s health, signage, or a community celebration.

Supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Woodland Trust’s annual competition is designed to highlight and celebrate the best trees in the country.

John Griffiths AM, who hosted the event, said: “I’m pleased to be collaborating with the Woodland Trust to present the awards for the Wales Tree of Year competition.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such rich biodiversity and landscapes across Wales and we must all do our part to preserve and protect our green spaces.

“Each of the seven trees shortlisted has a wonderful history to tell and I hope the awards will raise awareness of the need to protect our trees, landscapes and habitats so that future generations can enjoy them for years to come.”

Third place was awarded to the Newtown’s black poplar, a tree which has had the distinction of moving during its lifetime from one side of the River Severn the other.