Monkey puzzle tree

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by greggfryett, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. greggfryett

    greggfryett Member

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    Hello.

    I am lucky enough to have a mature 25 (ish) foot monkey puzzle tree in my front garden. Apparently it is femail as it has fruit.

    Question is can I prune the tree not specifically to reduce the size but to remove some of the brown leaves and 'branches'?

    I obviously do not want to damage the tree as it is healthy and happy. Any toher care advice appreciated.

    Kindest

    Gregg
    Torquay
    Devon, UK.
     
  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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    According to Keith Rushforth (in the Hillier Book of Tree Planting and Management, David and Charles, London, 1987), pruning the dead branches off of monkey puzzles is quite safe.

    Take care to remove the branch in stages, so that the weight of the branch does not cause tearing as it falls away from the cut. Also try to cut perpendicular to the branch -- this leaves the smallest cut surface area, and finally, make sure you neither damage the stem by cutting too close, nor leave a stub by cutting too far away from the stem.

    Congratulations on having a female tree. Have you tried eating the seeds? Again, according to Rushforth, they are excellent roasted (as you would chestnuts).
     
  3. greggfryett

    greggfryett Member

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    Douglas.

    Many thanks for your reply. I will work on trimming the tree carefully!

    What is to long for the stubs?

    Kindest

    Gregg
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Using the three cut method on branches that require a saw is the best way to minimize damage. Cut once from the bottom halfway up through the branch a foot or two from the final cut location. Move away from the stem a few inches farther down the branch from the first cut and cut downwards until the branch fails and is removed from the best the tree. Make your third and final cut outside the branch collar cleanly from top to bottom, leaving no stub as Douglas mentioned. If you would like to see a diagram I can send you a URL via private message, just let me know.
     
  5. greggfryett

    greggfryett Member

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    Jimmy (and DOuglas)

    Thanks for the reply. Small question, I acvtually want to trim out some of the brown leaves and smaller branches as the monkey puzzle is very mature and has already been trained. Should I take the brown leaves out or is this likely to jeopardise the whole tree?
    Many thanks

    Gregg
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    general rule for pruning. you can remove at any time the 3 D's; dead, diseased, dying. if it is brown it would probably be fine to trim it out at any time. monkey puzzle tends to be one or the other, dead or not, there isn't a lot of middle ground.
     
  7. greggfryett

    greggfryett Member

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    Jimmy.

    Thanks for this info. Some of the lower branches are bron and look dead so perhaps a trim is in order.

    Thanks

    again

    Kind regards

    Gregg
     

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