Red pine (Pinus resinosa) is native to northeastern North America and higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains. It is relatively common in Canada but is endangered in Illinois, with just one tiny population left in this state. It is becoming rarer as climate change warms our region and the conditions in which this tree can grow shift to the cooler north.
There is some good news, though. This species represents a conservation success story!
Restoration and reforestation efforts throughout the Great Lakes region have helped increase numbers of red pine. Several dwarf and ornamental varieties of red pine have been developed by breeders, and these managed trees have become a popular Christmas tree.
What can you do? Support legislation that reduces CO2 emissions and make an effort to minimize your carbon footprint, to mitigate climate change. Some ways to do this include eating less meat, turning off lights, reducing food waste, and walking or cycling instead of driving.