Traveling Endangered Tree Exhibit
on plants for food, wood for fuel and shelter, a wide variety of products, and
for beauty and solace. Fossilized plants
in the form of coal and oil power our society and nearly half of all medicines
in current use are based on substances derived from plants. But most importantly, plants are necessary
for the oxygen in the very air we breathe.
may appear as though there is an abundance of plant life surrounding us, and
indeed there is, trees and plants around the world are perishing. Estimates of forest loss varies by geographic
location, but there is no doubt that all of our forest ecosystems, and the
unique plant and animal life in these ecosystems, are in severe danger.
total number of tree and plant species at risk is not exactly clear, the
estimates that exist are alarming. A
study in 2010 by the IUCN, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Natural History
Museum, London estimated that one in five, or 20% of the world’s plant species are
dangerously rare or threatened with extinction.
And the situation is just as dire for trees – according to the World
List of Threatened Trees, 10% of all known tree species are endangered as well. Current documented extinction rates are
nearly 1,000 times higher than the rate at which species have been naturally
going extinct for the past 65 million years.
under threat today offer immeasurable benefits and the extinction of a plant
species have ripple effects on other species.
Learning more about endangered trees and their conservation and taking
action to protect them is critically important.
effort to help educate the public, we are displaying
the traveling exhibit Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat from the Morton Arboretum. This
exhibit takes a compelling look at various threatened and endangered trees and includes
17 displays, located throughout the garden, each highlighting a different
endangered plant. By making people aware
of these plants, our hope is that they will better protect them.
exhibit will be in the garden between now and early May 2014
before moving onto another conservation minded organization in the USA. To date, this exhibit has been in a number of famed
public gardens and Universities such as, Brookgreen Gardens, Edsel and
Eleanor Ford House, Holden Arboretum, ForMar Arboretum, The Gardens at Southern
Illinois University and the University of Guelph Arboretum to name a few.