Monkey puzzle tree problem

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by pam.barry, May 25, 2003.

  1. pam.barry

    pam.barry Member

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    I planted a 6" monkey puzzle tree 7 years ago. It grew into a healthy 7' tree, and I transplanted it 2 months ago to a new location (about 15' away) at my home in Chilliwack. I prepared the new location with a 3' diameter and 2' deep hole and then proceeded to carefully remove the tree from it's original location. However the tap root extended about 2.5 feet deep so I attempted to extend the depth of the new location another 6". However, at just over 2 feet deep, I ran into a hard-pan type soil which obviously isn't going to give great drainage for a monkey puzzle tree. I proceeded with the transplantation anyway, planting at the same depth and direction as before, using root booster and good quality soil around the tree. I gave it a fair bit of moisture for the first 4 weeks, and less over the last 4 weeks to hopefully avoid root rot. The tree was looking great for the first 7 weeks, but now on the lower half of the tree, the leaves are starting to turn brown, and 3 or 4 of the branch tips are becoming droopy. Is there anything I can do to save my tree?

    Barry
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    It sounds like the monkey-puzzle is on the way out. Root disturbance is one of the most common causes of death for these trees. Although you obviously took great care in the transplantation process, it is risky to move a monkey-puzzle this large. Besides physical damage to the finer roots, planting where water accumulates (above an impermeable soil layer, for example) could also cause serious damage. Over-aplication of fertilizer can also damage root tips.

    The plant will probably not recover; however, if it does, back off on fertilizer applications and make sure water drains away adequately. Good luck.
     
  3. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    This message received via email:

    Thanks for your insight into my monkey tree problem. I went to a couple of nurseries today and noticed that most of the small (12") monkey trees had brown leaf tips as well. Although it's a long shot that my tree will survive, I'll give it some time before I pull it out. If it does expire, I'll try planting a new (12-24") monkey tree in the spot I intend to leave it. I have a question though: Will the new tree have a chance if I have only a 2 ft. depth of good topsoil and extremely hard soil below? A nursery employee said it will probably grow OK because it will probably get drainage to the sides and around the hard-pan soil. What do you think ?
     
  4. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    If you were to plant a small monkey-puzzle, it would probably adjust to the site (hardpan and all), but not if the hardpan caused a high water table in the winter. Monkey-puzzles don't tolerate saturated soil conditions, especially in the winter.
     
  5. monkey puzzle tree cold toler

    I live in USA, in Baltimore, MD.
    I would like to know what is the coldest temperature that anyone has reliable had a monkey puzzle tree survive.
    Thank you.

    Karl Kasamon
     
  6. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    More Monkey Puzzles

    This was sent in via email:

    Please inform me how the roots spread on a mature monkey puzzle tree.
     
  7. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    While monkey puzzles are usually rated as hardy to USDA Zone 8 (average minimum 10 degrees F/-12C), the numbers of healthy trees I have seen in the Fraser Valley (east of Vancouver), suggests that some are probably hardier than this (the seed perhaps derived from trees at a higher elevation or more southerly provenance in Chile). Nevertheless, I wouldn't try it in Zone 6.


     
  8. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    In my experience, the rooting pattern of Araucaria araucana (monkey puzzle) trees is much like that of other kinds of conifers; i.e., tap-rooted, but primarily with spreading, near surface roots.


     
  9. monkey puzzle

    I live in south carolina and have been searching for a monkey puzzle tree since I visited Chile many years ago--any idea where these can be purchased?
    Thanks
    Robert
    highveldrr@cs.com
     
  10. Finding trees

    I just moved to california and I could not find any monkey puzzle trees - I finally looked on E-bay and found a number of seeds - I think it was $12.00 US for 20 seeds or something like that. I did not have good sucess with germination. I was able to get only 5 to germinate. I believe that my problem was over watering and possibly incorrect soil. It's been a year and the tallest is now 5.5". I used orchid mix as the soil, as it aparentently drains very well.

    I have read that this tree is slow growing and boy are they right.

    I hope it picks up this year - Anyone have a recommendation for fertilizer?

    Matthew@larrivee.com
     
  11. Monkey Puzzle Experiences

    I have tried to grow numerous monkeypuzzle trees over the past 20 years. I live in Durham, NC and our best success was one planted in the lawn that reached about 12 feet, from originally about 2 ft in a gallon pot. Then, one winter we had nearly zero temps for about a week. Good-by monkey puzzle. I have also kept them in pots, bringing them into the greenhouse over the winter. My last one just died this spring. In December it looked fine. But within the last 2 months, it gradually turned brown. I will try to find another one, but don't think I will try seeds. They are such fascinating trees. In fact, my place is named "Monkey Puzzle" and it is also my email address! We used to be able to find them fairly easily on the east coast, but something has happened to them.

    Maureen Johnson
    Durham, NC
     
  12. I bought about 20 seeds from ebay, for about $12.

    I planted them in the little mulch pellets that come on a tray (<$4.00@ Walmart). The oblong heart shaped seeds (like skinny Halloween corn candy shaped), were jammed about 3/4 of the way down into the medium, and kept moist.

    Within 2 weeks, I had 5 germinate.... they first sprout a tap root downward, while the seed remains unmoved. I transplanted them, and now I await their emergence. So far the seed pods are elevating, and developing a slight split, but no green needles yet.

    My 2 year old specimen that I bought from forestfarm.com is doing great (in a pot), sending off some beautiful lime-green scales, er. needles. ;-)

    -k
     
  13. Hardy Monkey Puzzle Trees

    I happened to be on this website only today June 11 and would like to add my experience with this wonderful tree. I live in Prague/Czech Republic and have one Monkey Puzzle Tree surviving all the bitter frosts our continental climate presents us with - last Winter as cold as - 22 Centigrade. Without any special protection provided the tree appears to thrive in an ordinary soil and regular supply of fertilizer for conifers.
    J.Langmajer
     
  14. I've just bought a 9" MP which I've planted outside - it's seems to be quite happy so far but it's early days.... Does anyone know how I should fertilize it, preferably non chemically ....? I'm in Portland OR and you see a few around here - so I know the climate is good.....
     
  15. botanical bob

    botanical bob Member

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    I would like to prune a side shooting branch and would appreciate any tips on how close to the main trunk I should cut and any treating of pruned areas to prevent desease.

    The tree is 5' tall and suffered a knock to the tip shoots earlier this spring, this I believe made one of the lower branches sprout out additional branches which will make the tree look unbalanced. The tree has recovered from the knock and is growing well here in Norfolk, UK.

    The cutting I shall use to start a new tree and again would appreciate any tips on starting this process.
     
  16. Ottawa_Z5A

    Ottawa_Z5A Member

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    Re: Monkey puzzle tree Hardiness

    HI Everyone,....I am new to the site, and I have to say that, I read the book "Palms don't grow here and other myths" and according to them, a Monkey-puzzle tree, is hardy to possible max a zone6a. I could only wish that I could grow them here. Well maybe one day......However, I am creating my own year round tropical hardy paradise. I hope everything survives.....

    Adam
     
  17. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I can assure you Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle tree) will not make a your winters. There are however plenty of message boards dedicated to "tropical themes" around the internet with help in colder zones.
    Cheers, LPN.
     
  18. ginger749

    ginger749 Active Member

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    Re: Monkey puzzle tree Hardiness

    A Pic is worth a thousand words. Even with a phone camera.
    Please give us a look.?
     
  19. IslandMan007

    IslandMan007 Member

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    Re: monkey puzzle

    Robert

    I ordered 2 monkey puzzle trees about 1 year ago from 2 different US nurseries and they are growing great in pots. I live in Maryland so I bring them into my greenhouse in the winter. I could probably leave them outside all winter by planting them in a protected spot but I don't want to take a chance that a long frost could kill then. My cousin has seen a 15 foot Monkey Puzzle tree growing in Maryland which is rare to see around here. You can get the nursery details by becoming a member and going to the following "Sourcing Plants and Supplies" forum here:
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=10156&highlight=monkey+puzzle

    If you don't want to have to register to get the info, I can e-mail the information to you directly.

    Hans
    ------
     
  20. IslandMan007

    IslandMan007 Member

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    Re: monkey puzzle tree cold toler

    Karl

    I like in Germantown, Maryland and I own 2 monkey puzzle trees (both about 1 1/2 ft. tall). Since I live in Maryland (I border zones 6b[0 to -5F] and 7a[0 to 5F]), I bring them into my greenhouse in the winter. My zone is just outside of the zone limits for Monkey Puzzle trees which is USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9° C (5° F). I could probably leave them outside all winter by planting them in a well protected spot but I don't want to take a chance that a long winter frost could kill then. I have seen an 18 foot Monkey Puzzle tree growing well in the front of a townhouse in Georgetown, Washington DC. Also, my cousin has seen a 15 foot Monkey Puzzle tree growing well in Gaithersburg, Maryland (15 minutes from my house) which is rare to see around here. I think these cases are the exception to the rule since the areas where the trees were planted were well protected micro-climates. I may take the chance next spring and plant 1 of my Monkey Puzzle trees in a protected spot near my house but only after doing much research to make sure the spot is perfect for overwintering the tree. Let me know if you have any other questions. Take care.

    Hans
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  21. Doug Pearson

    Doug Pearson Member

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    Re: Monkey Puzzle Experiences

    Maureen,
    I just returned from Belgium where I saw several mature monkey puzzle trees and was fascinated by their shape, their obvious resistance to deer and other animals, and by their uniqueness. Did you have any luck locating a source for the trees? I think we are generally in the same hardiness zone (7), so I was interested in your experience. Please reply.
    Doug Pearson
     
  22. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd not rely on that!
     
  23. Doug Pearson

    Doug Pearson Member

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    That's disappointing. I was hoping that the spiny limbs and trunk would keep the deer away. I suppose that the young trees are not so stiff and spiny. Is that the case, or do deer damage the mature trees also? On another subject, do you know of a source for the trees in the southern USA? Thanks for the reply.
     
  24. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Mature trees are safe from deer, but young ones can be damaged / killed by deer, either browsing, or when cleaning the velvet off their antlers.
     
  25. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I'll buy you a steak dinner if you have one (2 gallon sized or better) ravaged by deer.
    I live in deer country and have never had a problem. The foliage is like hypodemic needles.
    Cheers, LPN.
     

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