What are the Different Types of Endangered Tree?

Bobbie Fredericks

There are many different endangered tree species. Industry, animals, bug infestation, tree disease, and non-native invasive species of plants are some of the reasons trees become endangered. Trees are important because they provide food and shelter for animals. They also metabolize carbon dioxide into oxygen.

The endangered gumwood tree is the nation tree of the island of St. Helena.
The endangered gumwood tree is the nation tree of the island of St. Helena.

The Bois dentelle is a very rare endangered tree. It has large, lacy, white flowers, and is native to the cloud forest on the island Mauritius. As of 2010, there were only two left in the wild. One has been transplanted to a government nursery in an attempt to grow offspring. The bois dentelle has largely been wiped out by non-native species that have overrun the area.

Fires have contributed to the endangerment of some tree species.
Fires have contributed to the endangerment of some tree species.

Clanwilliam cedar trees are found in the Cederburg mountains in South Africa. They are large, majestic trees, reaching a maximum height of approximately 18 meters (59 feet). Beautiful and rot-resistant, the timber was used often in the 1800s for furniture and building. Harvesting, climate changes, and several large fires have contributed to the decline of this species.

The loulu is a type of palm tree native to several Hawaiian islands. As of 2010, there were less than 300 of these trees. Reasons for endangerment are animals eating the seeds and crowding out by invasive species.

Nubian dragon trees were once very abundant in Northern Africa and Saudi Arabia. They grow on mountains, and the fruit is eaten by villagers to supplement their diet and possibly treat illness. The species is threatened by disease. It is one of the few tree species that can survive long periods of drought.

The quercus hintonii tree is an endangered tree native to Mexico. This tree grows up to 15 meters (about 49 feet). It is a deciduous tree and is recognized by its bright red foliage in the Spring. This endangered tree is being destroyed for agriculture, including coffee plantations and grazing space for cattle. The wood is also popular for crafts.

On St. Helena, an island in the Atlantic Ocean, the gumwood has been declared the national tree. This endangered tree grows to be 8 meters (about 29 feet) in height and sports a large canopy of leaves. Large white flowers bloom in the winter and spring. Reasons for endangerment include bug infestation, invasive species, and human use.

The Wollemi pine was once thought to be extinct, but a few were found in 1994. It is a conifer tree but has small leaves, rather than needles. Mature trees are up to 40 meters (about 131 feet) tall. The bark is said to resemble bubbling chocolate, which makes it unique. Tourists are the biggest threat to the safety of the Wollemi pine, since they can bring dangers such as infection and fire.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - Many people don't realize that there was actually once an amazing kind of tree in the United States that was killed off by diseases brought over by colonists. It was a massive chestnut, with a trunk so large that several people could hold hands around it (there are still photos of people doing this out there). But they all died off from diseases from the chestnuts in Europe, because they had no resistance and they are now extinct.

It's difficult to imagine a tree species becoming extinct but apparently it happens quite often.


@irontoenail - Those are the oldest stand-alone trees, but there are some that are even older but are part of a tree colony, which means they are offshoots from parent trees. They usually aren't endangered though, since that kind of asexual reproduction keeps them from dying out as easily as other species.

That kind of story is sad, but it's not as sad as some of the tree extinctions we're heading towards at the moment. Many of the most beautiful tree species are being hit by diseases, because tourists tromp around them and bring in spores from other countries. Redwoods in California and Kauris in New Zealand are both species that are facing this kind of threat.


There have been quite a few tragedies involving endangered tree species. The one that always makes me the most upset is one involving the bristlecone species, some members of which are the oldest living things in the world.

An amateur researcher once went out to a group of these trees and used a borer to take a sample of a trunk in order to measure how old the tree was from the rings. These trees are thousands of years old and each one should be considered precious to the point of being irreplaceable.

The borer snapped off in the trunk of the tree, and the idiot researcher decided that, since the borer was borrowed, he had to cut the tree down in order to get it back.

In cutting it down he did, indeed, verify that the tree was in fact the oldest tree ever discovered.

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