Celebrating the Florida Torreya Tree of Life

Building A Team to Save North America’s Most Endangered Tree Before It’s Gone

The Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia) is a critically endangered conifer endemic to the Apalachicola River drainage of the Florida panhandle and adjacent southern Georgia. The species was once a prominent member of its forest community but today less than 1% of the historic population survives, by cyclically dying back at the sapling stage, such that seeds are rarely, if ever, produced. The main cause of the decline has been attributed to a fungal disease (i.e. Fusarium torreyae) and to date there is no control strategy available. Although the species has been subject to extensive conservation interventions, its extinction in the wild is imminent.  

This event aims to:

  1. Reflect on Florida torreya and the meaning of its extinction,

  2. Examine and discuss the opportunities for linkages between existing resources and experts to develop a plan of action,

  3. Establish collaborations that will lead to documentation of the biodiversity associated with Florida torreya in its habitat – assembling a “Florida Torreya Tree of Life”.

Torreya State Park

2576 NW Torreya Park Rd.
Bristol, FL 32321

Guest speaker: E.O. Wilson
March 1 & 2, 2018

Attendance list



Ed O. Wilson
E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation
& Harvard University
Jason A. Smith
Associate Professor,
University of Florida
Pamela Soltis
Distinguished Professor,
Florida Museum of Natural History
Doug Soltis
Distinguished Professor,
Florida Museum of Natural History
Emily Coffey
Vice President for Science & Conservation, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Lisa Thomson
President & CEO
The American Chestnut Foundation
Jared Westbrook
Director of Science,
American Chestnut Foundation
Chuck Cannon
Director, Center for Tree Science
The Morton Arboretum
Rob Nicholson
Botanical Collections Manager
Wellesley College Botanic Garden
Dana Nelson
Project Leader,
USDA Forest Service
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Picture by Jim Gipe



Torreya cone
Torreya skeleton 2
Torreya foliage
Figure 6 Torreya
Torreya 2
Gregory_House,_Torreya_State_Park_2 (1)
dead torreya




© 2018  Proactive Forest Health and Resilience