Botanic Gardens Conservation International BGCI submitted a report on the “'State of the World's Trees.” Hundreds of experts from various institutions collected data over five years. Their study covered thousands of species of trees all over the world and revealed the seriousness of the situation. It seems around 17,500 are heading towards extinction. Some of these are magnolia, oaks, maple, and ebonies.

Hundreds of other species are struggling to survive. There are many casualties due to climatic disasters like floods and wildfires. Added to these are man-made destruction in the name of agriculture, livestock farming, and logging.

Humans use many of the trees for a wide variety of reasons that cover fuel, medicines, and timber. They conveniently forget a world minus trees could mean creating another barren planet like Mars.

Trees are losing out due to factors like over-exploitation and mismanagement. Climate change is another human-driven threat. Apart from direct loss from fires and floods, climate change alters the habitat ranges of various species.

Sea level rise and extreme weather conditions threaten trees

The study identified some species of trees threatened by sea-level rise and extreme weather conditions. The magnolias in the Caribbean fall in this category. Fires are threats to different types of trees in Madagascar and the oak species of the United States.

There are species that have only a handful left in the world.

An example is the Mulanje cedar of Malawi. The nature of the threat varies from one region to another. At times, the cutting down of trees is intentional - to extract ebony, mahogany, and rosewood. When it comes to oaks of South and Central America, the threat originates from deforestation.

In April 2018, President Donald Trump and President Emmanuel Macron planted an oak tree at the White House and it later disappeared.

It is necessary to take care of trees

Trees are an integral part of our lives. They provide shelter for birds and shade for all. BGCI wants governments and experts to take necessary steps to protect different species of trees.

In the words of secretary-general Paul Smith: "This report is a wake-up call to everyone around the world that trees need help.” Coordinated global conservation action is the need of the hour.

Trees help support the natural ecosystem

BGCI cautions that nearly a third of the world's tree species are at risk of extinction. It is important that the world realize the magnitude of the problem. On a rough estimate, the number of threatened tree species is double the total number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. That should be an eye-opener. Trees help support the natural ecosystem. Their roots bind the soil and trees are vital to combat global warming and climate change. The loss of a single species could prompt the loss of many others.

Paul Smith says: "Every tree species matters — to the millions of other species that depend on trees, and to people all over the world." Six countries that face the maximum risk of extinction of trees are Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Colombia, and Venezuela. Rising seas and severe weather affect more than 180 species of trees. Obviously, their well-being is a matter that the world cannot ignore. Trees need protection from events like fires and floods because their numbers are increasing. It must be remembered that trees help to maintain the ecological balance and preserve the environment.