Krista Greenaway

Krista Greenaway

The planet is quickly losing 15.3 billion trees on a yearly basis, it is important now more than ever that we protect these incredible trees from deforestation in the immediate future. The world has already lost one-third of its forest, but there still remain incredible trees within our wildlife that have managed to beat deforestation and logging attempts, as well as climate change over the years. 

Beautiful, awe-striking, and magnificent, these 11 incredible trees are ones that will make you realise there is some wildlife really worth saving the planet for.

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large holm oak photo credit Nuno Sequeira
Photo credit Nuno Sequeira

Incredible tree 1 –  Holm Oak

The great Holm Oak can grow up to 65 feet tall. Towering over houses, bridges and multi-story buildings. It is most recognisable by its bushy rounded crown and gargantuan size. 

Native to the Mediterranean region, it was introduced to Britain in the late 1500s. The first trees to be grown from its acorns in England can still be found within the stately grounds of Mamhead Park in Devon.

The most famous Holm Oak is notably located in Italy. It sits in the gardens of James Bond’s recovery location from the Casino Royale film and once a year, two gardeners are required to spend two weeks pruning the tree into its meticulously rounded shape.

While not majorly cause for concern on the conservation side, these trees are too show-stopping not to protect.

photo credit Flickr

Incredible tree 2 – Sycamore Tree

The Sycamore tree is best known for its butterfly-like fruits, but these broadleaf trees can grow up to 115 feet tall and live for more than 400 years.

The most famous Sycamore tree is located in a dramatic dip known as the Sycamore gap. Located just next to Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, UK. Its alternative name “The Robin Hood Tree” was adopted following its featurette in the 1991 film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and is officially one of the most photographed trees in the United Kingdom. The tree is a few hundred years old, once standing among others, but over time they were slowly removed over time.

The trees are not extinct and many have been protected by Tree Preservation Order 032 made in 1977.

Quiver Tree Forest, Namibia - Full credit to Amusing Planet
photo credit Amusing Planet

Incredible tree 3 – Quiver Tree

The Quiver Tree Forest is located in southern Namibia, Africa. It consists of around 250 trees known as the “Quiver Tree” or “Kokerboom” in Afrikaans. The trees are a variant of the aloe species, so unlike their tiny aloe plant cousins, can grow up to 98 feet high. Some of the tallest and eldest quiver trees have been ageing for over two-three centuries. 

The trees are deemed so beautiful with their golden scales and forked branches, that they are actually protected by South African law. The Quiver Tree Forest itself is also a national monument of Namibia, and is closely located next to a geological land site filled with large, white dolerite rocks known as ‘The Giant’s Playground’.

The Quiver tree is now classified as a vulnerable species. Its biggest threat is the global temperature rising, and decreasing rainfall. Unless the global temperature remains below 1.5 degrees celsius, the Quiver tree will be one of the first tree species to disappear. 

deadvlei-namibia-africa-desert - Full credit to wallpaper flare
Full credit to wallpaper flare

Incredible tree 4 – The Trees of  the Dead Vlei

The Dead Vlei translates to “dead marsh” and is located in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the central Namib Desert. The Vlei once had a river running through it, which nourished the trees that lived there. However, the surrounding dunes and warming climate blocked the river from flowing into the Dead Vlei and resulted in the bones of trees which are now over 900 years old. 

Even though this was unfortunate for the trees, a gorgeous landscape with contrasting colours was created. When the river no longer drained into the marsh it actually became so dry for the trees that they couldn’t even decompose. Some call this place the 8th wonder of the world.

While the trees in this forest are already dead, and the results make for a spectacular view, the forestry that once flourished in the Vlei was not dissimilar to some of today’s largest rainforests.

walakiri beach dancing mangrove trees photo credit flickr
Photo credit flickr

Incredible tree 5 – Mangrove forest 

Mangroves are a group of trees and shrubs that develop into forests along subtropical and tropical coastlines. In optimal conditions, mangrove trees can grow to heights over 80 feet, while smaller varieties typically average 20 feet. Mangrove forests are one of the most biologically complex ecosystems on the planet. 

The trees have a unique capability to grow while their roots remain completely submerged underwater, adapting to the soil that lacks oxygen and consists mainly of salt. Beneath the underwater roots, Mangroves offer protection to fish and other aquatic animals. They also play a large role in protecting coastlines from storms and rising waters. A factor that is becoming increasingly vital in protecting us from climate change.

Over the past four decades, 35% of global Mangrove forests have been destroyed. The increasing deforestation has caused endangered species which rely on the trees to rapidly decrease in numbers. The highly threatened mangrove species is now subject to a danger of extinction itself due to coastal development, logging and modern climate change.

The dancing forest in Kalinigrad Russia photo credit Anna Chaplygina WikiCommons

Incredible tree 6 – Dancing Trees

Growing like Bonsai’s, the pine trees in Russia’s Dancing Forest twist into a variety of shapes, including rings, hearts and spirals that circle into the ground. The cause of their unusual shapes remains a mystery. Though many have tried to figure it out.

The trees were planted in the early 1960s to stabilize the sand in which they grow. But the unstable sand is what some people believe is the cause of the trees appearing seemingly unstable themselves. Studies have been done to determine the exact cause, but results have been inconclusive. 

The leading scientific theory relates to caterpillars which feed on the pine shoot’s apical buds while the trees are still saplings. The premature damage means the trees found an alternate method of growth, developing from their lateral buds instead and thus growing at an odd angle. However since the plants still naturally grow in the direction of the sun, they began to grow upwards again following their initial deformative growth.

Fortunately, with historic, modern and cultural value, the pine trees in the dancing forest are protected and not subject to deforestation anytime soon. However, there are species of pine trees that are currently threatened due to climate change that will soon become extinct

dragons blood incredible trees
photo credit leaflimb.com

Incredible tree 7 – Dragon Blood Trees

Deemed the most magnificent tree on Earth due to its spiked crown and veiny branches- the Dragon blood tree can be located on Socotra island in Yemen. 

Not only do the trees have a very distinctive appearance, but they also release a red sap or resin, which is also known as a dragon’s blood. According to legend, the first dragon blood tree was created from the blood of a dragon that was wounded after it fought an elephant. Like the unfortunate dragon, the tree secretes its resin when it’s injured. In ancient times, the resin was believed to have magical and medicinal properties and is often still used today for both medical and recreational use.

The trees are classified as “vulnerable to extinction” meaning it is a species considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. One of the most mystical trees to still grace planet Earth, it would be devastating to see this tree species disappear if it is not protected soon.

Baobab trees along a dirt road called the Avenue of the Baobabs in Morondava, Madagascar - Full Credit to getty images-157863121-50
Full Credit to getty images

Incredible tree 8 – Baobab trees 

Baobab trees grow in the regions of Madagascar, mainland Africa and Australia acting as a large parasol to elephants and standing up to 23 metres (75 feet) high. Their flowers are highly unique, opening around dusk at a speed so quick the movement can be seen with the naked eye. By morning the flowers are quick to fade away again.

In the early 21st century, Baobab trees mysteriously started dying in fleets from a cause yet to be determined. While it has been speculated by scientists the die-off is mostly believed to be a result of dehydration and climate change. 

While it appears the Baobab tree is not currently endangered, it is apparent how climate change is powerful enough to wipe out the entire tree species at rapid speed. Scientists have suggested the Baobab will lose much of its available habitat in the next 70 years due to climate change and human development. New studies suggesting that the species should be reclassified as critically endangered.

rainbow eucalyptus tree in hawaii
photo credit Gerold Grotelueschen/Alamy Stock Photo

Incredible tree 9 – Rainbow Eucalyptus tree

Donning a multicoloured shell and soaring up to 250 feet high, the rainbow eucalyptus tree looks like something plucked from a fantasy novel. However, the magnificent tree is one of the wonders still to grace Earth, growing in tropical regions such as Australia,  Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea.

The tree sheds its bark in strips revealing its dominant bright green colour. The green then begins to slowly morph into other colours such as blue, purple, orange, and red. Areas of the tree shed at different times cause the trees rainbow effect. Minimal scientific research has been conducted to explain why the trees change colour. The main theory suggests that when the bark sheds, the tree’s chlorophyll is exposed, causing it to turn bright green. When the green surface is exposed, the tree then begins to absorb pigments called tannins. As the tannins age, the colours begin to mature with it, leaving behind a rainbow effect as each fresh layer is revealed.

While eucalyptus trees are not extinct, the rainbow eucalyptus itself is a rare eucalyptus that needs to be protected from unnecessary deforestation. It is the only eucalyptus species that can live in the rainforest and is crucial to helping insects like bees who can gain large volumes of nectar from its flowers.

tibetan cherry tree red bark photo credit reddit
Photo credit reddit

Incredible tree 10 – Tibetan Cherry Tree

The Tibetan Cherry Tree is known for its gorgeous red coppery bark and flourishing fall leaves. These trees are slim and slender, growing up to 25 feet tall in prime conditions and flowing white blossoms in the spring. The trees are native to western China, primarily in Tibet.

Along with its cherry-red stem, the Tibetan Cherry Tree does also produce cherry fruits, yet they are not edible. Typically the tree is considered ornamental, usually planted in local parks and urban areas for its beauty. Since the trees are most commonly planted for recreational use, they are not considered endangered. However, they are still an important tree to grow and protect due to their high tolerance for pollution. Not only is it beautiful, but it may be the most ideal tree for regulating air quality in polluted areas.

the silk floss tree spiked tree trunk photo credit projectnoah.org
Photo credit projectnoah.org

Incredible tree 11 –  The Silk Floss Tree

A total oxymoron, the silk floss tree has horned spikes covering its spine and electric pink flowers that bloom from its branches. The trees can grow over 80 feet high and are native to the subtropical forests of South America.

When in bloom the silk floss tree bears pear-shaped seed pods containing silk-like cotton fibres often used to stuff the insides of items such as pillows and padded clothing. The fibres of the Silk Floss Tree also have a hydrophobic property that allows it to be used in the material that goes into life preservers. When Southern American tribes were more prominent, the tribal people would often use the water-resistant bark to make canoes for themselves. 

Native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America, the silk floss tree has managed to remain relatively untouched… for now. However, with the Amazon rainforest losing around 10,000 acres of trees a day, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to protect trees from deforestation.

Rainforest protection page sq

Conclusion

The Earth’s natural landscape was once consumed with foliage and other natural flora and fauna. Nowadays it’s becoming more and more common to see building sites, land developments, and plots covering nearly the entirety of our natural landscape. While striking a balance between building communities and planting new trees is important to maintain balance, and is the first step toward rewilding, it is crucial that we protect the trees that are already part of a far more complex ecosystem.

OneTribe works closely with brands and organisations to protect trees from deforestation, illegal logging and give back to indigenous communities who still rely on this type of environment to survive. Every purchase from a OneTribe brand partner will protect trees in order to put an end to climate change.

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