Plantwatch: one of world’s rarest trees found near Welsh coast

North Wales is home to one of the most rare trees in the world. Only 30 Menai whitebeams are left in the world. They all grow along a narrow strip of steep coastline in a nature reserve near the Menai Strait.

Julia Jones, a professor in conservation science at Bangor University, stated that it was a surprise to discover such a threatened tree in the nature reserve near our university.

It is urgent that we map every tree and monitor its health and collect seeds to help it grow and be planted in the wild.

The Menai whitebeam is a good example of the dire situation of many other tree species that are at risk of extinction. Some have been reduced to less than 50.

According to Botanic Gardens Conservation International, 17.500 of the world's 60,000 tree species are at risk. This is nearly one third of all tree species. This is more than twice as many threatened mammals, birds and amphibians combined, but trees are not given the same attention.