40 Times People Saw Trees 'Devouring' Random Objects And Just Had To Share Proof Online

Trees grow tall and mighty, and they don’t care what stands in their way. Neither signs, sculptures, nor other things that we attach to them can match their strength.

We at Bored Panda put together a list of pictures that show “hungry” trees devouring everyday objects just because they can.

So continue scrolling to remind yourself that nature is a force to be reckoned with. And if, for whatever reason, you need more proof after you’re done, fire up our earlier publication about the times Mother Earth made people go “well, that sucks.”

But as much as we admire them, trees are in a lot of trouble. A recent first-of-its-kind study assessing every kind of tree native to the United States found that 11% to 16% of them are threatened with extinction.

The research was carried out across the lower 48 United States over the past five years. It was a collaboration of multiple different organizations throughout the country and even a few global contributors. The result provided a better understanding of the current condition of the local plants and a starting point to work on to protect them.

“We can’t protect what we don’t know about,” said Susan Pell, Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden. “And so we really have to have a baseline of understanding of what things are at risk.”

The scientists looked at the extinction risk, patterns of geographic and taxonomic diversity, and leading threats facing the species. The most common threat turned out to be invasive and problematic pests and diseases.

“As we have warmer climates, in our northern parts of our country, we see some of these invasive insects being able to go further north to attack more trees,” Pell explained.

For instance, take the Emerald Ash Borer first found in Michigan.

“The early projections when it was first discovered were that it wouldn’t make it to Canada. And now with climate change, projections are going to become more widespread in Canada and certainly in the United States,” Pell said.

Additional climate change threats include worsening drought conditions in parts of the country, widespread wildfires, and more intense storms with heavy rain. Other stressors for trees come from development and agriculture.

“What we’ve identified are the species that are most at risk,” Pell said. “And we’re also looking at some habitats that are most impressive on some of these areas and coastal environments, for example, that are under threat for development, and thinking about ways that we can conserve plants, both from a land perspective but also looking at what can we do for individual species that are really at risk.”

One thing they can do is protect their habitat. Specialists are also working to put at-risk trees in living collections — places like botanic gardens and arboretums.

Through the study, researchers found that there are currently 17 species of trees not found in living collections that need a new home.

One of them is the Franklin Tree, also known as the Franklinia, which is native to the state of Georgia.

It was collected in the 1800s and never seen in the wild again. Now, however, it’s found in over 100 living collections. An encouraging success story when you consider what is at risk if we lose threatened trees.

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“Our livelihood is the environment,” Pell said. “Trees are one of the most important organisms when it comes to the health of our natural environments here in the United States.”

As we can see from the pictures, they really want to live. All we need to do is to help them more than we threaten them.

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