Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Cultivate 64: How many tree species are there?

- June 2017

Liliana Derewnicka


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  No. 64 (June 2017)
Cultivate from BGCI
How many tree species are there?

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Dear Cultivator,

Do you know how many tree species there are in the world? 

BGCI can now tell you! BGCI has been working for over two years, consulting over 500 published sources and liaising with experts all over the world to find the answer – 60,065 tree species. ‘GlobalTreeSearch’ is the first list of its kind, documenting all of the world’s known tree species and their country level distributions. You can search the database on the BGCI website or download the full list. A paper was also published in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry which is now open access.  


Tree facts: Of all the countries in the world, Brazil has the most tree species, with 8,715 species, followed by Colombia (5,776) and then Indonesia (5,142). Apart from the Arctic and the Antarctic (which have no trees whatsoever), the region with the fewest tree species is the Nearctic region of North America, with fewer than 1,400 species. 


GlobalTreeSearch is not a static database and will evolve as new information comes to light. If you spot a mistake (in taxonomy, distribution or lifeform) or have data which you think could improve the database, please get in touch with  

GlobalTreeSearch will form the backbone of the Global Tree Assessment, an initiative to assess the conservation status of all the world’s tree species by 2020. This will allow the prioritisation of the tree species that are most in need of conservation action so we can ensure that no tree species is lost forever.





Applications open: LearnToEngage is an exciting new suite of blended learning, professional development modules for botanic garden and museum educators in Italy, Portugal and the UK. Attendance is free and limited subsistence bursaries for the on-site elements are available.  Apply now for modules on Interpretation and Working with Diverse Audiences. Deadline: 30th June. Find out more and apply 

Survey: We are currently designing the content for the next two modules of LearnToEngage. To do this we need to establish ‘best practice’ and identify training needs in Science Communication and Research and Evaluation as base line research. We would be very grateful if you would complete the following survey and we welcome any other comments you would like to add. Complete the survey


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Call for abstracts: The next issue of Roots is all about starting from scratch. Designing a new education programme and putting it in place takes effort and strategy. We want to hear from botanic gardens, museums and Learning Outside the Classroom sites who have developed and established effective education programmes. How did you know where to start? What tools or approaches really helped you? What did you learn along the way that could be really helpful for other organisations?

We are currently looking for a variety of contributions including articles, educational resources and a profile of an inspirational garden staff member or volunteer. Find out more about how you can get involved on our website. Or submit a 100 word abstract to by 15th June.

Now available online: Last October’s issue of Roots is now available on the BGCI website. Roots 13.2 is all about celebrating our volunteers. Download your copy 

Become a member to receive the latest issues of Roots vai email.  


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Upcoming events and activities

6th Global Botanic Garden Congress

We are all greatly looking forward to the 6th Global Botanic Gardens Congress which will be held in Geneva from 26th – 30th June. We have had a great response from the botanic garden community and are looking forward to welcoming over 500 participants from at least 60 countries. The detailed programme is now available on the congress website

The Congress promises a wide and varied programme covering all aspects of botanic garden work. As well as seven fascinating keynote presentations, there will be three plenary discussion sessions providing an opportunity for all participants to engage with experts in the areas of tree conservation, conservation partnerships and climate change. Tuesday 27th July will be Tree Tuesday. Sponsored by the Morton Arboretum, Tree Tuesday will allow Congress participants to learn about the latest tree conservation efforts around the globe – all aimed towards ensuring zero tree extinctions. 

If you have not yet registered, you can still do so on the Congress website 


8th European Congress of Botanic Gardens

EuroGard VIII will be held in Lisbon, 7th-11th May 2018. The theme of the congress is Botanic Gardens, People and Plants for a Sustainable WorldFind out more 


3rd Conference of Eastern and Central European Botanic Gardens

EastCentGard III will be held in Budapest, 7th – 11th October, 2017. The theme of the congress is Botanic gardens – delivering public goods and supporting society.  Find out more


Spittlebugs Hunt  

The International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN), in collaboration with Defra (UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and botanic gardens and arboreta around the country, are running a survey to identify spittlebug host plants. Defra will use this information to provide measures aimed at preventing the disease getting into the UK. Find out how you can take part


Shenzen International Award in Plant Sciences – call for nominations

The Shenzhen International Award in Plant Sciences encourages the nomination of exceptional scientists who have set the standard of excellence in their field. Anyone who has direct knowledge of another’s contribution to the plant sciences and is able to provide clear evidence on the lasting impact of that individual’s work, may nominate that individual for this award. Find out more and nominate 


Bgen networking day

This training event, organised by bgen, LEEF and BGCI will be held at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on 23rd August. The theme for the day is Building Strong Partnerships. Find out more 

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Southeast Asia Botanic Garden Network conference

The network’s 6th conference was held at Bidoup-Nuiba National Park, Vietnam from April 24th to 28th. The event brought together 59 delegates from 18 Southeast Asian and associate countries for a week of meeting, training and building partnerships for plant conservation. Find out more


ERA forest restoration training

The latest Ecological Restoration Alliance of Botanic Gardens forest restoration training course was held at Tooro Botanical Gardens in Fort Portal, Western Uganda this March. Utilising ERA’s network of botanical expertise, training was delivered by Tooro Botanical Gardens, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong, and BGCI. Find out more 


BigPicnic 2nd Partner Meeting – 17th to 20th May, hosted by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Representatives from all 19 Partners descended on the garden for a jam-packed three-day meeting. The agenda included training on Responsible Research and Innovation, evaluation and data analysis as well as opportunities for the Partners to share their work so far. Find out more 

Follow BigPicnic on Twitter:  @BigPicnic_EU 


Save our Cedar

School children from four primary schools recently visited the Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury National Pinetum, near Goudhurst, Kent, to learn about tree conservation and take part in an international project to help save the critically endangered Mulanje Cedar as part of the Save our Cedar project. Find out more 

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New members


Institutional members

Fundacion Jardín Botánico Nacional Viña del Mar, Chile

National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA

Botanical Garden, Department of Botany, University of Jammu, India

University of Peshawar Botanical Garden, India  

Jardin Botánico Chagual de Santiago, Chile

McKee Botanical Garden, USA

Jardim Botânico Plantarum, Brazil  

Mt. Cuba Center, USA 


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New book