Trees are equally at risk as the planet grows hotter and humans continue to be careless with the environment.
Here are three beautiful trees that are in danger of becoming extinct.
An evergreen that is native to South America.
It received its unusual name in the early 1850’s when a British man who was unfamiliar with the tree remarked, ”It would puzzle a monkey to climb that.” The national tree of Chile, the Monkey Puzzle is an ancient species with individual specimens able to live for up to 1,000 years. The long straight trunks used to be considered ideal for lumber mills. Logging, along with fires and forest clearing has led to an overall decline in the species, which was listed as endangered in 1971.
It is native to Mauritius, and only two specimens remain.
The small tree, which has lacy, bell-like flowers that bloom in clusters, is native to the island’s cloud forest, which has been heavily damaged by invasive species. Because of this habitat loss, the Bois Dentelle teeters on the verge of extinction. The government of Mauritius is finally making an attempt to save the species. One of the two remaining plants was relocated to a government nursery, which is working to cultivate offspring.
It seems to be native to Egypt, Morocco, Madeira, Cape Verde and some of the Canary Islands.
A tall tree with spiky leaves, the Dragon tree is thought by some biologists to live up to 1,000 years. In ancient Rome, the tree’s sap was used in alchemy, and Pliny the Elder suspected the sap originated from the mingling of elephant and dragon blood. Goats, rats and rabbits eat seedlings in its native environment, making it difficult to regenerate the population.
The Gebel Elba species of the tree in Egypt has been declining for years. The few remaining trees exist in a protected area between Egypt and Sudan, but the protection is not likely to last long as a new road was built near them.
What a dreadful loss the extinction of these unique and long lived trees will be. They have witnessed so much of human history as they grew and flourished and now we are witnessing their end.
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