National Geographic’s Issue is entirely about trees, critically endangered forest, their importance for the planet and the need to conserve them.

This issue contains many stories and numerous photos by some of National Geographic’s most prominent photographers. Jeff Frost’s photo is included below. The publication claims that it illustrates the condition of Earth’s trees, and is extremely powerful in that message.

National Geographic Earth Day Issue

The canopy is lit by this particular tree, which is a California sequoia. Because it was in an area where prescribed burning helped to reduce the fire risk, the tree survived the wildfire.

California’s fires have destroyed up to a fifth the largest sequoias in the state over the past two years. Some of these trees are more than 1,000 years old. Below is a photo of the burned slope of a Sierra Nevada hill. National Geographic states that although sequoias are able to survive ground fires due to their low branches, this particular fire ignited the crowns. According to the publication, climate change and fire suppression are fueling larger wildfires.

More than one million Joshua trees were set on fire by the Dome Fire. This iconic tree is already facing many other threats. New sprouts are appearing less frequently as droughts persist.

National Geographic Earth Day Issue

Rising sea levels are creating “ghost forests” in North Carolina. Seawater seeps into freshwater wetlands and aquifers, killing vegetation like the bald Cypresses at Eagles Island. National Geographic reports on how logging and training wetlands have affected cypress trees throughout the Southeast since the 19th Century.

National Geographic Earth Day Issue

This problem isn’t limited to North America. Due to drought and years of high heat, 39 million mangroves have died in Australia. The little green visible is a remnant of a mangrove species that survived mass deaths.

National Geographic Earth Day Issue

21 million acres were burned by fires in an area known for its cold climate. National Geographic says that small fires occur regularly in the region, but last year four times the average annual area went up in flames.

National Geographic Earth Day Issue

The mangrove estuary of the Piraqe River was affected by the same El Nino that caused Australia to suffer mass die-offs. National Geographic reports that the trees were already stressed by drought and had been hit hard by hail and wind, which killed almost a third.

National Geographic Earth Day Issue

National Geographic states that climate change has caused 20% of the trees to die in the American West, since 1945. This is also true for Africa’s Sahel and Morocco. According to the National Park Service, up to 20% of giant siquoias (many of them alive since the reign under Julius Caesar) have died in the past two summers.