Vanishing Acts: In Search of Trees

By Eric Garris

Young Fraser Firs Bernheim acquired to accompany the Vanishing Acts exhibit
Young Fraser Firs Bernheim acquired to accompany the Vanishing Acts exhibit

With only a few days to go, we anxiously anticipate the public opening of the Vanishing Acts exhibit which highlights rare and endangered species from all over the world.  Informative, interactive signs have been installed and are a great resource for learning about these species and their importance in the world’s forest.  Many of the plants in the exhibit currently exist only in conservatories or nurseries that actively ensure the continuation of these fragile species by growing more plants.

Bernheim’s  horticulture team joined that endeavor and began searching  for some of these species.  Our search  consisted of countless online and phone conversations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.  As a result, we were able to acquire 9 of the 15 species represented in the exhibit.  We have sourced Malus sieversii  (wild apples) through England from cuttings in the mountains of Kazakhstan, found the rare Wollemi pine of Australia from a grower in California, and located the critically endangered Magnoilia officinalis in a nursery in British Columbia.   All of these plants were grown for the sole purpose of keeping these species from extinction, and none were collected from the wild.

Throughout early spring,  as the weather warms,  we will be adding these plants to the exhibit.  This is an exciting opportunity to see these species that so many are fighting diligently to preserve for the future.

Want more Vanishing Acts? Click here to view the archive.


Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat was developed and produced by The Morton Arboretum in association with the Global Trees Campaign, a partnership between Fauna and Flora International and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

Funding for this exhibit comes from The Morton Arboretum and the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services, Museums for America Grant Program.

Support locally comes from LG&E and KU. Additional support provided by Shepherdsville/Bullitt County Tourism.

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