New member with vandalized Monkey Puzzle Tree

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by Puzzle Monkey, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Puzzle Monkey

    Puzzle Monkey New Member

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    Hi everyone, I will try to attach a picture to this post, and here is my situation:

    I have a M.P. tree that is about twenty years old and was about ten feet tall. Last year someone broke off and stole the top two feet of it. It is now starting to grow several leaders at the injury, but I want to train it back into a single trunk specimen both for looks and because in my experience trees with split leaders occasionally break off there.

    I am thinking of pruning back all but one of the new buds, and then using a stick and twine to train the remaining one vertical. This will still result in a significant offset and possibly weak point in the trunk.

    I am hoping for input on this idea, and other suggestions for dealing with this trouble.

    Thanks.

    IMG_2343 (Small).JPG IMG_2337 (Small).JPG
     
  2. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

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    That vandalism totally sucks.

    How are your winds off the water? If they are notably windy and lashing, I'd avoid selecting the bud that is most directly that side. Other than that, pick the strongest growth that is also low down on the top. So the one closest to the camera looks as if it is higher than the others and not the best choice. Maybe it will be the one to the left. You don't want it so high on that stub that drying or insect damage will be likely, but down where there is solid cambium all the way around. Too low and the remaining stub will control the angle of growth of your selected bud to some extent. If there is some greenness left of that stub, as in the growth is only a year or so old, see if it's flexible enough that you can wire it aslant as a bonsai type training to make it secondary to your chosen bud.
     
  3. Puzzle Monkey

    Puzzle Monkey New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I hadn't thought about using a more lower bud, so I am glad you suggested it, as I see that it makes sense. I may also try to train the other buds outward as branches rather than cutting them back.

    There isn't a lot of wind on the tree as it is somewhat protected by the house and some nearby cedars (actually Thuja), and I am a few miles inland from the ocean.

    So do you have these trees in Florida?
     
  4. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

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    Oh yes! As specimen trees, but others of the genus, too.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You're lucky that Monkey-puzzle is exceptionally good at sorting itself out - there's every chance that just one of the sprouts will develop as a new trunk (I suspect it'll be the shoot at the back right in the 2nd pic), and the rest will turn into branches, without any need to do any pruning or shaping at all. If there are still two (or more) erect new stems at the end of the year, prune off the less erect of them.


    As an aside - Monkey-puzzle (Araucaria araucana) doesn't grow in Florida, it can't cope with the summer heat / humidity combination there. What Thanrose will have seen are its close relatives Bunya (Araucaria bidwillii) and maybe Parana Araucaria (Araucaria angustifolia).
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  6. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

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    Thanks Michael! Good to know. I'll have to take a closer look at the few Araucaria genus that I've seen. The one in Mead Botanical Gardens in Winter Park is not identified on their site as anything other than monkey-puzzle tree, and the one in Saul's yard (the link above) looks to be the same: Bunya, Araucaria bidwillii.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    From there
    Not true; Bunya cones drop whole and are dangerous, but Monkey-puzzle cones break up on the tree and just drop a harmless shower of loose seeds.

    Also an excruciatingly bad Latin pronunciation guide!

    And - arrrrgh!!
    Completely wrong! Not in the pine family (Pinaceae) at all, but the Araucaria family (Araucariaceae)
     
  8. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

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    Ooops! My bad. Just trying to find a photo of a locally grown Bunya and was not in luck. There are more than just the ones in Saul's yard and at Mead Gardens, but I'm sure you are correct. Of course, people have Cook pine here, Araucaria columnaris, which they usually believe to be A. heterophylla. Sad specimens though.
     

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