Sunday, 21 October 2012

Top 10 Endangered Trees


When you think of something being endangered, you probably automatically think of animals. In the entire world, there are about 5,000 endangered species of animals, and despite the importance of protecting these endangered animals; there is also an importance in protecting endangered trees all over the world.

10. Loulu


If you’ve ever been to the Hawaiian Islands, you’ve possibly seen one of these trees during your visit. The 25 different variations of this tree are found on each island, some growing as large as 60 feet tall. Each island has its own species and every species is distinct, not only in size but where they grow and the color palm it provides. The trees only have one trunk and have various branches that grow palms on the end. There are young Loulu trees in many home gardens –  you can grow one of these trees in a pot until they start to mature; however, there are only about 300 Loulu trees in the wild.

9. Hinton’s Oak (Encino of Hinton)


You’ll find this tree in Mexico, mainly the southeast corner where there are three known species that thrive in the dry desert areas. The neat thing about the Hinton’s Oak tree is that the spring foliage is a bright red color that eventually turns to a dark green before they fall off. The bark of the tree is extremely dark, which sets a contrast to the red leaves. The trees can grow as large as 49 feet and are extremely important to many inMexico, as the wood of the tree is made to use handles for many utensils, such as knives.

8. St. Helena Gumwood


The St. Helena gumwood is definitely unique. In fact, it’s so unique that St. Helena Island chose it to be their national tree. The tree grows with a crooked trunk, but despite this it is able to support an umbrella-like canopy with an endless amount of branches. During the winter and into the end of the spring months, each branch produces white dangling flowers. Accompanied by the flowers are leaves that can be up to 5 inches long. Not only are these leaves somewhat large, but they are also hairy and can be a green color while others have more of a grey tone to them. In St. Helena, the population of this tree was once so large that is covered tropical forests all over.

7. African Blackwood (Mpingo)


In Swahili, the population of the African Blackwood continues to diminish. The name comes from the color of its heartwood which is a color closely resembling black. The tree is said to grow in areas where most other trees or plants couldn’t, as it prefers infertile and rocky soil. The Mpingo is also very slow growing, taking between 70-200 years to grow to a mature size and many only grow to be able 9 feet. tall. It is the national tree of Tanzania even though the tree can be found in about 26 different African countries, including Ethiopia, Angola, Senegal, and many others. This tree is great for those who do agricultural work as it is known to improve the fertility of the soil as well as the soil’s stability. The Blackwood is a great source of food for various herbivores as well as livestock as these animals will eat its leaves. Despite being a very hardy tree (most of the mature trees are even able to survive a fire), the population of the African Blackwood has been on the decline.

6. Monkey Puzzle


Just by the name, you can probably tell that this is a pretty unique type of tree. Represented as the national tree of Chile, the Monkey Puzzle can be seen all over Europe, especially in botanical gardens. Sometimes called the living fossil, the Monkey Puzzle can live thousands of years. In Chile, the tree is known as PehuĂ©n to the Pehuenche people. These people have a large history with the tree and often need it to provide a great part of their diet. The Monkey Puzzle tree provides nuts that people as well as animals often eat and are said to be very similar to pine nuts. The tree grows to about 131 feet tall but has a very slender trunk. The branches are often described as being thick and reptilian and the tree as a whole prefers to grow somewhere with a lot of rain, and cold temperatures aren’t a bother.

5. Honduras Rosewood


You can find the Honduras rosewood in Belize, Southern Mexico, and Guatemala. They are on the endangered list due to the heavy use of its lumber for various products. The timber produced with this wood is said to be some of the best but surprisingly, there isn’t too much information known about the tree. The wood that is taken from the tree is often of very high quality and the color is what really attracts people. The wood is usually a red purple color with streaks of black. The wood is so unique that people from all over vie to own some of it.

4. Clanwilliam Cedar




Often characterized as a majestic tree, the clanwilliam cedar can be found throughout the Western Cape Province of South Africa, especially in the Cederberg Mountains. The trees are extremely tall, growing up to 82 feet in height and they like to take things slow: some of these trees can live to be up to 1,000 years old, and it takes almost 30 years for a tree to produce seeds. The tree has foliage that is needle-shaped and is close together. The foliage often produces small cones at the end of each small twig during the autumn months.

3. African Baobab Tree


If you’ve ever seen The Lion King, you’ve seen a Baobab Tree. It’s the one Rafiki makes his home. The African Baobab tree is another on the list that has a long history. It is said that some of the trees in existence today have been around for at least 1,000 years. You will find these massive trees, often growing up to 82 feet in height, in the Blue Nile as well as Kordofan and Darfur. Not only is the African Baobab tall, its trunk is also pretty large, measuring in at an average of 32ft. in diameter but others can be as wide as 91 feet. The tree also has fruit, which is also seen in The Lion King, ranging from 3-17 inches that has a dry powdery pulp inside of it. The tree’s fruit is used for various things such as medicine and food.

2.  Dragon Tree


This tree probably has the coolest history on the list, but you’ll only find the Dragon Tree in Morocco, Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, and on five of the seven Canary Islands. Tall and slender, the tree has prickly leaves with white-green flowers as well as brown berries that are recovered in a red sweet substance. The history behind this tree goes back for centuries. It is said that in Ancient Rome, the tree was used as a colorant that would cover iron tools. Many times the colorant was used as a varnish. The Dragon Tree also has history in various Greek myths. The most well known is one that tells the story of Hercules and the Apples of Hesperides.  Landon, the hundred-headed dragon is killed, who was said to be the guardian of Hesperides so that Hercules could bring back the three golden apples. When the dragon was killed, it is said that various Dragon Trees sprung up from Landon’s blood, which then flowed across the land, causing more trees to grow. Though the tree has so much history, that history may soon be cut short due to the declining number in population.

1. Bois Dentelle


The Bois Dentelle is a truly beautiful tree; sadly there are only two of these trees in existence today (both in Mauritius). This tree is not huge like others on this list; instead, the Bois Dentelle is pretty small, but the flowers that it provides are one of a kind. The flowers are in the shapes of a bell but the petals are lacy. Imagine a piece of cloth that is frayed at the end and you’ll see what these flowers look like. They are extremely distinct and only blossom between January and March. The white flowers hang off of long branches and are often in clusters.


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