Monkey Puzzle Tree Sap

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by jbegoray, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. jbegoray

    jbegoray Member

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    My 10 year old Monkey Puzzle Tree has large quantities of sap coming out of one side of the trunk about a foot above the ground. The tree has not been injured or pruned on that side. I noticed that several other posts to this forum mentioned a sap problem on trees that also had branches turning brown. All of the branches on my tree look fine. The responses to the other posts didn't address the sap. Is this normal behaviour for this tree or should I be concerned?
  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver, BC
    For decades, Baltic amber has been arbitrarily assigned to an extinct pine (Pinus succinifera); however, IR (infrared spectroscopy) studies show that Baltic amber is more closely related to resins of broad-leafed conifers of the araucaria family (Araucariaceae). So resinous sap oozing out of the trunk of your Money Puzzle tree is a natural characteristic.
    Resin from tropical trees once formed a thriving industry for hard, durable varnishes and linoleum. These complex mixtures of terpene resins may serve as a chemical defense against the high diversity of plant-eating insects and parasitic fungi found in the tropics.
    Another function of this freely running sap is interesting. fires are common in the region where Monkey Puzzle (A. araucana ) trees grow along side Southern Beeches and both species possess attributes that promote accidental fires once ignited. Fire usually leads to formation of stands with clustered 10-20 m tall A. araucana over a 2-5 m tall N. antarctica subcanopy. Therefore, fire acts as a medium of species co-existence between a vigorously sprouting, shade-intolerant species (N. antarctica), and one that partly survives fire above-ground and is more shade-tolerant (A. araucana). The history of fire frequency and intensity on a site largely determine population structures for these species in mixed stands."

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