Mature Monkey puzzle tree in Nanaimo

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by Den_Vic, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. Den_Vic

    Den_Vic Member

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    Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada

    Botanical name: araucaria araucana
    Common names: Puzzle tree, Monkey tree, Monkey puzzle tree

    This specimen is a male. Plant at a distance from structures as Puzzle trees become quite large.

    Collect female cones (edible) for propagation. Pollination of mature Puzzle trees occur in the James Bay District of Victoria, BC due to male-female proximity. Female cones are used to propagate Puzzle trees in Victoria. Other seedlings are sent to Vancouver.
     

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  2. CarolL

    CarolL Member

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    Hi Denis,

    I'm from Nanaimo also. There are a lot of Monkey trees here and I collect my seeds from one of them. This tree is all by itself and not another for miles and I have no problems with germination. I think I read they can be both male and female??

    The first year all 26 cones (I filled my pockets) germinated and I will be collecting all I can carry this fall.

    Carol
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    They are usually dioecious (male and female on separate trees), but not invariably so. I've seen occasional trees with both male and female cones on.

    It is worth noting that the pollen can blow a long way, too.
     
  4. I've gathered a lot of good information reading these threads. I've had no trouble growing them other than the cold winters that may hit us every 3-5 years. I live in Walla Walla, Washington. This is the first picture I've seen of male cones and realize you can tell the difference if it's a male or female tree even if it's too young to produce cones. My trees, the sharp green needles extend about 3-4 inches from either side. I saw some trees at a nursery in Seattle several years ago that had tighter branches that were darker green and the tiers between branches was further. My trees are denser and thicker. Everything I read says they like cool summers near the coast but mine thrive in HOT inland summers but they do get watered. I've seen female cones which I assumed got to about volleyball size but don't drop. When the seeds are ripe they drop and the cone eventually fades away . I spotted a tree next to the Hampton by Sea Tac and went to look at it. Seeds were all over the ground so I collected them. They were elongated tear drop shaped. I poked the rounded ends in soil and had several trees a few months later. One of my trees froze to the ground about 10 years ago when it stayed -15 for about 2 weeks. It regrew 2 leaders and is about 12-15 feet tall but the shorter leader browned to the ground this spring after about a low of 10 above last winter. I believe they would grow well in the Tri-Cities as they have sandy desert soil and influence from surrounding water. I saw Trachy palms and Cedars and things that get burnt in some winters here, growing nicely there. Leaving Seattle several years ago I saw the nicest looking Monkey Puzzle tree I've ever seen by a post office in either Snohomish or North Bend when I pulled over for gas. It was 30-50 feet tall and broader than tall with branches nearly to the ground. Thanks for all the information and I will be checking back. I guess I should register too and become a "seedling" in this forest.
     
  5. I have had requests from all over North America for these guys. They are protected by CITES (Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species) as they are an endangered species in their native homeland (Chile-hence their other name of Chilean Pine). This means you cannot ship them across any border without the proper permits.
    Does anyone know of sources on the east coast of Canada? I have a request right now for two small trees there, but I hesitate to ship that far due to cost and packing.
     
  6. ashton

    ashton Member

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    I live in Eastern Canada and I'd love to get my hands on some seeds, or seedlings. Anyone know a source in Canada, so no endangered species rules are broken?
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It isn't hardy in eastern Canada!
     
  8. ashton

    ashton Member

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    I know it will not survive winters outside - I plan to keep it outside for 3 seasons and bring it in for the winter, just like people raise figs in Toronto. I do the same with a delonix regia in a pot and have done it for years with Norfolk Island Pine.
     
  9. Ian

    Ian Active Member

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    The best looking monkey puzzle tree I have seen is in Wishkah, Washington north of Aberdeen. It is in a very wet climate but summers are quite a bit warmer than the immediate coast. It is a very tall and rather columnar specimen with branches all the way to the ground. I think it will broaden out, it just wants to go up first.

    Another rather cold place I have seen a mature monkey puzzle tree is Weed, California. Also, there are two trees at the Wind River Arboretum in Carson, Washington which don't look great but have been there for a long time.
     

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