Dangerous Pine Cones

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by michaelt, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. michaelt

    michaelt Member

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    We have a 70 ft. high, very healthy, Monkey Puzzle Tree. We usualy get about 20 pine cones dropping each year, They weigh about 25 lb. each when they drop. The tree is so full you can not see the cones forming. Is there any way to retard the growth of the pine cones? If not where on the tree are they forming? I would like to prune them prior to growth or at least before they fall.
     
  2. felco

    felco Member

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    good luck
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Might this be a bunya bunya instead? On another, recent internet discussion it was said the monkey puzzle cones fall apart, whereas those of the bunya bunya may come down in one piece.
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    might find a source to purchase the seeds. one mans garbage is anothers gold!
     
  5. Puddleton

    Puddleton Active Member 10 Years

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    It sounds like you have an Auricaria bidwillii.
    You thought coconuts were dangerous when gravity is involved!
    Jurassic seed pods are an understatement
     
  6. ild14

    ild14 Member

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    Puddleton is correct. The Araucariaceae evolved during the Jurassic, and formed three genera, Araucaria, Agathis and Wollemia, each of which speciated in Gondwana, and as the world cooled after the K/T boundary, migrated to warmer climates. Only the monkey puzzle tree Araucaria araucana and Araucaria angustifolia migrated into South America, the others to Australia and New Zealand. The gum is exuded to protect the tree from loss of water, so dry seasons would badly affect all Araucarias, except the australian ones who became used to dry climates as Australia drifted north. The Araucariceae were originally a tropical family.
    ild14 is happy to be contacted about any Gondwanan family at i.daniel@xtra.co.nz
     
  7. Puddleton

    Puddleton Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Ild,
    A point New Zealand, eastern Australia and the south pacific can be proud of is the unique coastal landscapes these extraordinary plants make.
     
  8. hamadryad

    hamadryad Active Member

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    Ild, do you have a picture of Araucaria angustifolia? A response on "Monkey Puzzle as a House Plant" thread suggests I may have one. Blue foliage?
     
  9. ild14

    ild14 Member

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    Hi Hamadryad,
    your message has shown me how much my brain has failed me. My short-term memory is failing,so much that my reply to you put in the genus Agathis instead of Aracaria angustifolia. I also have problems with my use of my computer, so am trying to cancel all threads, but the correct screen will not show. Sorry to all UBC members!
    Sighing off.
    Ian L. Daniel
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The original poster, michaelt, sent this along:

     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Short of cutting down what may be a landmark tree of historic interest all I can think of is rigging up some strong, above-head-level netting to catch them during the part of the year they are falling.
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd guess stay indoors on windy days. When they do come down, collect them up and sell the seeds (they're edible)
     
  13. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    A colleague of mine grew up in Australia and she told me that her grandmother used to draw little men on the seeds of Araucaria bidwillii and call them Bunya men. Is this a normal/traditional custom in Australia or does my colleague just have a strange gran?
     
  14. miss_myxomycete

    miss_myxomycete Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi michaelt, would love to see some photos of your tree & cones! Ingrid
     
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    "We have a 70 ft. high, very healthy, Monkey Puzzle Tree. We usualy get about 20 pine cones dropping each year, They weigh about 25 lb. each when they drop."

    You can't get "pine" (Pinus) cones from Araucaria. They only form on Pine trees.
     
  16. carbluesnake

    carbluesnake Active Member

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    Anything that produces 25 lb. cones is dynamite. Where can I find a Bunya bunys for sale? Carbluesnake
     
  17. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    When making my hazard trees sign page, I discovered references to people who had cones drop on Auraucaria - but not just the Bunya, Bunya.


    Some may have been premature, but apparently it can occur.

    I'd keep the tree, but post signs and build an arbor over a walkway if there was a path.
     
  18. John Allen

    John Allen Member

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    Michaelt, you obviously need some practical help with this. Are there any commercial seedsmen in your area that would harvest the cones BEFORE they drop. (I realize that's probably not optimum re seed quality, as the seed is probably best from ripe cones on the ground, but you could make it a condition of them getting the seed for free, for example.). My local amateur wood turners are keen to access some native material, and if it needs lopping or thinning, then that's is the deal I offer them. May work for you.
     
  19. John Allen

    John Allen Member

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    Second thoughts: if I'm following this thread correctly, Michaelt has a Bunya Pine, planted six years ago, and 70 ft high, Oui? If this is the case, what an amazing timber species it could be in Michaelt's area...in which case the seed should be prized. (Tho the Wollemi people do well with striking cuttings). What do people do, where falling coconuts are a hazard? And tropical fruit growers, I believe use nets on things like Durians. So would netting Bunya cones work?
     
  20. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    We used to have a grove of seven mature durian trees on our previous property in Malaysia. They well all close to 50 to 80 feet tall. Those fruits drop to the ground with a loud thud each time and leave sizeable dents in the ground. And in a good year, there could be as many as 50 to 100 fruits on each tree. But nobody has ever been stricken by a falling during. So what did we do? Well, walked freely under those trees, feeling pretty invincible, is what we did as kids. It makes me shudder with fright when I remember those days.

    Knowing durians, you would need a pretty strong and well supported netting to catch a 20 pound object, free falling through 50 to 70 feet. You will do better to fence off the danger zone temporarily during the months when the cones are expected to fall.
     
  21. John Allen

    John Allen Member

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    "Most growers picked ripe fruits when they dropped from the tree. Such fruits have a very short shelf live of 2–3 days. To reduce fruit damage caused by the fall, tarpaulins or nets can be erected below the tree during the ripening months. The shelf life of intact fallen ripe fruits can be extended by 1–2 or more days if they are stored at 5–10°C."

    from http://www.rirdc.gov.au/pub/handbook/durian.html
     

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