Monkey-puzzle tree growing in Ontario

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by Elsie, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Elsie

    Elsie Member

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    I would liketo know what my chances of growing a monkey tree in Hamilton, Ontario. I was visiting a nursery in Victoria, BC the first week of June and fell in love with this tree, which was about 16 in. high. I brought it home on the plane and have it in a planter in my back yard. It is doing very well so far. I was wondering if I should bring it in the house over the winter as I do not have a greenhouse. Also, if it fairs well, once it is older, should I plant it and wrap with burlap over the winter? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    Needs a cool climate with comparatively mild winters. Your winters will definitely be too cold. Might be hard to keep over winter under ordinary indoor conditions, too dark and dry. Try brightest possible light with lowest possible temperatures, may be able to grow for some years as indoor-outdoor container specimen - until it gets too big.
     
  3. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    There is one or two in Niagara-on-the-Lake that are surviving but not thriving. A good microclimate, even in the banana belt of Niagara is critical.

    Winter temperatures and frozen soil are its biggest enemies in Ontario. I wouldn't attempt it in Hamilton as the chances of multiyear success are very low. With the use of styrofoam rosehats, you may get it through winters until it's too big. Burlap will keep the sun off, but won't help so much with temperature.
     
  4. jaro_in_montreal

    jaro_in_montreal Active Member

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    Interesting.
    Any idea how long they've been surviving ?
    I have one planted outdoors that has survived two winters, but its definitely NOT thriving.
    OTOH, my winter indoor plant is doing quite well, and putting out lots of base sprouts which, with a little help from rooting powder, make for a good source of new plants....
     
  5. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    Well, there is this one....Monkey Puzzle in private yard. Don't know how long it's been there.

    Also, on the main drag in Niagara on the Lake (Queen St.), there was one growing ~5 years ago. I don't know if it's still there though.
     
  6. jaro_in_montreal

    jaro_in_montreal Active Member

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    At that size, it must have been through quite a few winters !
    (compared to mine, I would say its "thriving" LOL! )
     
  7. Luv2Grdn

    Luv2Grdn Active Member

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    Saw a Monkey tree at Butchart Garden, in Victoria, B.C. back when visiting the worlds fair in 1986.
    Really a neat tree.
    Maybe you could put it in the ground while still in a pot and when the weather gets to cold bring it in. Insulate the pot somehow. Zone 8 is quite a difference from zone 5. Maybe you'll have a mild winter and won't have to bring it in. This way it receives as much sun light as possible. Experiment this winter with Mulch with bails of straw. Put one of those electronic thermometers where the plant will be and see how warm it keep it compared to the outside temp. Bails of straw kept my mother-in-laws outdoor pump from freezing. Just a thought.
     
  8. bamboofish

    bamboofish Active Member

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    Hi Elsie,
    you didn't have to go all the way to Victoria, they sell them near you at Broadway gardens in St. Catherines. I have seen a few growing in Niagra on hte Lake. they get some winter damage but do survive. I think hardiness will increase as the plant gets older. I would plant it out, water very well till Dec or Jan., and protect it very well for the first few winters with winter blanket. they are verrrry slow growing. They grow them in Halifax and they do fine. I think they do like a cool moist climate. good luck..

    thanks
    Rich
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    Still not enough to consider it hardy, though - I've seen larger specimens killed by a severe winter in zone 7.

    Now if it gets like these . . .
     

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  10. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    One shown at 'Monkey puzzle in private yard' mostly brown, as though burnt last winter or having another problem that discolors all but young shoots.
     
  11. Systrychka

    Systrychka New Member

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    Re: monkey tree growing in Ontario

    I too am now living by Hamilton, in Ancaster. I grew up in BC and have always loved the monkey tree. What is it, about it that draws us Ontarians, in? Why do we try so hard to make it grow here? I too purchased a 3 year old sapling, in BC and flew home with pride. All I need to do is figure out how to plant it, if I should at all. Should I transplant it into a larger pot and keep it in a cool but sunny place for winter? I might need to do this for a couple of years until it becomes bigger and stronger. I am so excited to learn that there are others out there who share my passion.
     

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  12. cagreene

    cagreene Active Member

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    Location:
    salt spring island,bc
    there is a beautiful monkey puzzle tree growing in victoria bc, its about 30-50 feet tall and decorated every year as a christmas tree...i will take pictures of it on my next trip to see my doctor...i grow olive and lemon trees here on salt spring island, as we get little or no snow. yet while living in victoria bc it snowed every single year! freezing rain happened weekly and the blizzard of 96 which dropped 10 feet of snow on my sunk in front yard did not kill my monkey puzzle, but harsh sunny days did!
    my neighbour brought hers indoors, just putting it in the back cold storage room during hot sunny days (and cold frosty ones) she managed to save it from the heatwave and intense sunshine that killed mine...
     
  13. Systrychka

    Systrychka New Member

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    Fascinating. I'd love to see it. I'm surprised that it didn't like the heat and sun. If it likes humidity like experts say it does, then it should grow very well here. The winters...well we still have to figure that out. I wonder how well it does in a pot, since I read that it doesn't like the constraint, and will not thrive well in a pot. Maybe it just needs to be a big pot. Is there any special kind of soil we should use, whether in a pot or out side. One last thing, for now, my friend said that if we find the right spot for the tree it could survive. In his experience he says that what kills trees is not so much the cold, but the wind. So we're going to find a some what sheltered place. Bye for now! P.s. I named my plant, "Precious".
     

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