care of mature monkey puzzle trees

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by Stephen Topfer, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Stephen Topfer

    Stephen Topfer Member

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    I've just purchased a house with a 60' monkey puzzle tree in the front yard. It has many dead lower branches is therea special way to prune these? Is this a seasonal occurance or is my tree in trouble. Any advice on the care of these trees would be most welcome.

    thanks
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Monkey puzzle trees generally are fairly maintenance free. If the limbs are dead then removing them is not a problem, but.. wear nice thick gloves and goggles, these trees will bite back. If you are a novice or aren't sure of how do go about it, please call a certified arborist in your area to check it out and give you a price, it may be more reasonable than you think. As for the health of the tree, yes, they do normally lose a few lower limbs with age, but... get someone out to look at it to be sure, at the very least try to take some good pictures and take them in to your local garden center for an expert opinion or post them here and someone will do their best to help you out.

    to find a certified arborist in your area go to http://www.isa-arbor.com and follow the links to search by city or town.
     
  3. conorsmyth

    conorsmyth Member

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    I have a 50-60ft Monkey Puzzle in my garden which seems to have got progressively worse in terms of health. I have taken some photos, could you look at them and let me know if there is anything I can do.

    I don't want the tree to die as it is a huge feature of our garden
     

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  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The upper crown looks fine; the lower branches very often do die off (including on trees in the wild in Chile), so that may not mean there is anything wrong with it.

    For general care, it does not require a lot of anything; the most important is to make sure the soil in its rooting zone (very roughly, a radius the height of the tree, plus a little more) does not get heavily compacted, by either human feet or lawn-mowing machinery. Soil aeration (google for 'terravent'; not sure if suppliers will be easy to find in Ireland) may help improve branch growth and retention.

    Looks like your tree is a female, judging by the scars left from old cones.
     
  5. conorsmyth

    conorsmyth Member

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    Many thanks for your prompt reply, didn't expect one so quick!

    So being a female isn't a bad thing? can you seed from the female?
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You can grow seedlings, provided there is a male tree nearby to pollinate it. The seeds are also edible, though they don't keep very well (they dry out and become hard very quickly; if sowing them, they have to be planted before they dry out).
     

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