About three dozen trees from the New Jersey Pine Barrens are now part of a Manhattan art installation meant to bring awareness to forest conservation.

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'Ghost Forest', residing in Madison Square Park in New York City, is the brain child of Professional Forester Bob Williams and artist Maya Lin.

60 Atlantic White Cedar Trees from Maurice River Township, Cumberland County were presented to Lin, who selected 45 of them to become part of the exhibit.

NJ.com reports that salt water intrusion is causing clusters of trees in New Jersey to die off. The rising of sea levels related to climate change appears to be the root of that demise.

Williams, with Pine Creek Forestry, tells NJ.com that roughly 90 percent of Atlantic White Cedars have been lost since colonial settlement because of storms and storm surge. Williams, who's examined forestation all over the world, says stagnant salt water kills the cedar trees. The once thriving Atlantic White's are now stark and barren forming what conservationists call 'ghost forests'.

In fact, the cedar tree could become extinct within the next 50 years, according to Williams.

But thanks to the art installation in Manhattan, hundreds of thousands of people can spend time with the Atlantic White Cedar Trees in all their glory. It's the hope of Bob Williams and Maya Lin that visitors will come to realize just how precious the world's forests are, and maybe think about what can be done to preserve them.

Maya Lin's 'Ghost Forest' exhibit runs from June 1 through June 11.

Madison Square Park in New York City can be found from Broadway to Madison Avenue at E. 23rd to E. 26th. Streets. Grounds are accessible to the public weekdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

SOURCES: MadisonSquarePark.org; NJ.com/YouTube

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