About GlobalTreeSearch

GlobalTreeSearch is the most comprehensive list of tree species and their country-level distributions. It was published in 2017 following over two years of work gathering both tree species names and their country level distributions. This database is not static and is being continuously updated as new information becomes available. Our intention is for GlobalTreeSearch to be used as a tool for monitoring and managing tree species diversity, forests and carbon stocks on a global, regional or national level. It is also used as the basis of the Global Tree Assessment, coordinated by BGCI and the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (GTSG), which is undertaking conservation assessments for all of the world’s tree species with the aim of having a published IUCN Red List assessment for every tree species by 2023. GlobalTreeSearch enables a gap analysis to be performed, to identify where conservation assessments are lacking.

The production of GlobalTreeSearch has involved collaboration with very many organisations and individuals as well as the consultation of many sources. A full list of contributors and sources can be found here.

Tree Definition

GlobalTreeSearch uses the tree definition agreed on by IUCN’s Global Tree Specialist Group (GTSG): a woody plant with usually a single stem growing to a height of at least two metres, or if multi-stemmed, then at least one vertical stem five centimetres in diameter at breast height.

Some plant species have variable lifeforms, but all species that are recorded as naturally growing as a tree somewhere have been included, with the reference cited.


The taxonomic concepts of GlobalTreeSearch follow the World Checklist for Selected Plant Families (WCSP) for its published families. Families that are not included in WCSP, follow The Plant List (TPL 2013). Other regional sources (Euro+Med, Reflora) and taxonomic sources (e.g. ILDIS) have been consulted when required.

As The Plant List was last updated in May 2012, any species published since then have been provisionally accepted on our list unless found to be in synonymy from other more recently published sources, such as in a published monograph. The source of the taxonomic status is recorded, allowing for updates as taxonomic opinion evolves.

Distribution information

Distribution information was recorded following the ISO 3166 country names standard. Distribution information has been recorded to country level for all taxa, with distribution in several countries (Brazil, United States, South Africa, Australia and China) recorded to state or province.


GlobalTreeSearch was sent out for review to over 30 experts to identify missing taxa or non-trees and also to review distribution information.

Any unresolved comments are recorded, as well as the reason for uncertainty about a species (Life form, Geography and Taxonomy).


The GlobalTreeSearch database is subject to regular updates; to suggest changes to the GlobalTreeSearch database please contact: globaltreesearch@bgci.org.


Please cite the use of GlobalTreeSearch data as:

      BGCI. [YEAR ACCESSED]. GlobalTreeSearch online database.
      Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Richmond, UK.
      Available at https://tools.bgci.org/global_tree_search.php
      Accessed on (DD/MM/YYYY).

Please cite the use of full GlobalTreeSearch data download as:

      BGCI. [YEAR ACCESSED]. GlobalTreeSearch online database (version 1.5).
      Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Richmond, UK. 
      DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22578.84163 
      Available at https://tools.bgci.org/global_tree_search.php
      Accessed on (DD/MM/YYYY).


More information about the methodology and results of GlobalTreeSearch were published in 2017 in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry.

      Beech, E., Rivers, M., Oldfield, S., & Smith, P.P. (2017). GlobalTreeSearch: the first complete global 
      database of tree species and country distributions. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 36(5): 454-489. 
      DOI: 10.1080/10549811.2017.1310049