Hurricane Irma in September 2017 destroyed or damaged several of the tropical forest trees, including our nine champion and challenger trees. Hurricane Irma  destroyed one Champion tree, the Pigeon Plum.  The storm knocked down three other trees, the Milkbark, the Wild Dilly and Black Olive. These trees are still alive and we are working hard to save them. Only one of our Legacy trees was damaged.

You can help replace those trees and expand our tropical forest through our Tribute Tree program.

Tribute amounts for trees vary, depending on the age and location of the tree. Trees closer to the paths and public viewing require larger donations than those smaller, but still important, plants within the collection. Weatherproof plaques with the names and inscription of the tribute will be attached to the tree or placed on a stand in front of the tree.


Native Champions and former Champions

  1. Milkbark (West Loop)  – Down but seedlings growing from roots
  2. Pigeon Plum (Northside pond) – Destroyed
  3. Saffron Plum (Parking Lot)- OK
  4. Cinnamon Bark (West Loop) OK
  5. Wild Dilly (West Loop) – Partially down but still alive.
  6. Black Olive (Boardwalk) – Down but growing suckers
  7. Cuban Lignum Vitae (Boardwalk) – OK
  8. Locustberry (Western Loop) – OK

Historic Legacy Trees

  1. African Tulip Tree (Boardwalk) – Broken at about 20 feet but alive and growing suckers
  2. Arjun Almond (Boardwalk) – OK
  3. Sausage Tree (Parking Lot) – OK
  4. Canary Date Palm (Desbiens Pond) – OK
  5. Barringtonia (Boardwalk) – OK

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