The lungs of our planet

Help us protect the future of trees

The Giant Redwood The Giant Redwood

Life as we know it depends on trees.

They are a critical part of our ecosystem.

They provide food and the oxygen we breathe.

They support wildlife habitats.

Whether a bustling forest or a dense jungle, trees are the lungs of our planet.

And they need your help.

At Kew, we work hard to protect and conserve trees in our gardens and around the world for future generations.

Read on to find out what your support could help us achieve.

Protect and discover

A rainforest scene A rainforest scene

Conserving the world's trees

New species are continuing to be discovered whilst our forests are being harvested for fuel, food and space.

With ongoing forest loss, the need for Kew’s work has never been greater.

Kew is responding to the Global Tree Assessment by the BGCI who undertaking conservation assessments for all the world’s species by 2020.

By discovering and understanding which species are under threat, we can work to save species worldwide.

And support from you could help us do that.

New discoveries

Working alongside our partners, we are discovering new species around the globe, in remote places like the tropical rainforests of South America and South-East Asia.

27 species of Elaeocarpaceae, and 10 species of Trichilia alone were discovered in places like the Andes and Central America in 2016 – and Dinizia jueirana-facao in a restricted area of forest in Brazil in 2017.

We must keep exploring. Just imagine what else is out there?

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Saving lives

Experiments at Kew Experiments at Kew

Research leads to medical discovery

Our research continues to provide a scientific basis to explain the traditional and potential uses of medicinal plants.

There are at least 28,187 plant species known for their medicinal use, including many trees.

1,280 of those are protected by CITES - the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

15 of the 56 natural drugs that treat cancer come from plants.

Like the yew tree, which gave us Paclitaxel. 

Extracts from the bark of Prunus africana are used to treat urinary tract infections.

In Papua New Guinea, Garcinia dulcis and Lunasia amara are used to treat wounds. Research at Kew has shown that they inhibit the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.

And a resin known as benzoin from the trunk of Styrax benzoin is an ingredient of some inhalations used to relieve congestion.

A gift today could be part of future research to save lives.

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Your gift could lead to medical discovery.
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Cutting-edge technology

A LiDar scan of a tree A LiDar scan of a tree

The technology behind conservation

LiDAR - or Light Detection and Ranging - is cutting-edge technology.

It lets scientists accurately measure the height, volume and structure of trees and forests.

In the same way bats use echolocation (or biosonar), LiDAR uses high frequency laser beams that travel from the device and bounce back from the tree.

By measuring thousands of light pulses, we can build a 3D image of a tree.

Scientists have used LiDAR technology in Borneo to discover the tallest tree is actually a whopping 94.1 metres - 4.6metres taller than previously thought. 

Knowledge can protect the planet

We know that trees play a vital role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it into stored carbon.

LiDAR gives us a bit more knowledge about a tree’s mass and therefore how much carbon is stored.

Previously the only way to know a tree’s mass was to chop it down and weigh it.

Improved measurements inform conservation work and sustainable forest management.

Studying a tree’s structure means we can understand its biodiversity and habitats for other species.

We will know where to prioritise protection efforts.

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Help us lead the way

A collection of seed samples A collection of seed samples

By increasing our capacity to collect and preserve tree species under threat, we believe we can make a significant and unique contribution to exploring and protecting plant diversity.

In giving a gift today, you are joining a wider commitment to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Protect the future. Protect trees.

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Please help us to inspire future generations.
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