Saving Endangered Trees
Even without a voice, trees manage to speak eloquently to us about the fragile state of our planet. Forests and tree species worldwide are disappearing at an alarming rate, and while a number of factors are responsible for this phenomenon, climate change is seen as an enormous new threat to tree diversity. Ten percent of all tree species are now threatened with extinction, and 1,000 are considered critically endangered.
The Morton Arboretum has taken on the responsibility of speaking vigorously on trees' behalf. In partnership with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and others, the Arboretum is committed to serving a leadership role in support of the Global Trees Campaign. This major international plant conservation initiative, launched in 1998, is focused on the threats to trees around the world and the need to take urgent action to address their conservation.
To get the process underway, The Morton Arboretum is talking to arboreta throughout the United States about how arboreta can play a role in protecting threatened trees and building public awareness and support. Moving forward, the Arboretum expects to promote opportunities for U.S. arboreta to collect or receive plants that need protection--establishing collections to further ensure their survival as species. Arboretum President and CEO Gerard Donnelly hopes in the future that the Arboretum will have more on-site habitat preservation efforts for trees that may be threatened, as well as encourage other arboreta to have more globally endangered trees species planted in their collections.