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11 of the most endangered trees in America

By: Angela Nelson on April 27, 2017, 8:21 a.m.
Fraser fir trees in North Carolina

Photo: Gene/Wikimedia Commons

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Fraser fir (Abies fraseri)

That's right, your favorite type of Christmas tree is officially endangered. And while chopping down millions of these trees each year might seem to be the cause, the problem is actually an insect: the balsam woolly Adelgid (Adelges piceae), which came from Europe in the 1950s. Once the tree is infected with the insect, it basically starves. By the 1980s, millions of trees had died, according to the Global Tree Campaign.

Today, this species is found toward the top of the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Preserving the Fraser fir is critical to the rare animal species that live in those areas and rely on the tree, the Global Tree Campaign says, such as the northern flying squirrel, Weller’s salamander, the spruce-fir moss spider, mountain ash and rock gnome lichen.