problems between my neighbor and my tree

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by ciccioserver, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. ciccioserver

    ciccioserver Member

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    hello everyone,

    We live in the northern part of Italy (near Como) and have a monkey puzzle tree probably about 90 years old having a circumference of 2.4 Meters (dimeter of roughly 0.76 meters and estimated height of 16 meters).
    We recently have had several discussions with our neighbor who wants us to cut the tree to reduce its height because he says it is too high and may pose a danger to his home (the tree is i great health and straight as an arrow!).
    We have read several articles and have seen that there is no way to safely reduce the height of this kind of tree without killing it. Can anyone confirm this and tell me where I can find some litterature confirming this theory?
    I would also like to know where I can get some info on the rooting process of the tree (how do the roots branch out and what kind of roots can I expect from my tree). The last thing I am looking for is information on pruning and general care of the Monkey Puzzle Tree.
    Thanks so much in advance and I am looking forward to participating to this forum!
    Regards
    GM
     
  2. Douglas Justice

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

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    Conifers are renowned for their longevity, and although many lose their tops as they age (Pseudotsuga menziesii, Douglas fir, is a classic example), Araucaria araucana (monkey puzzle) does not. The typical shape of an aged monkey puzzle is umbella-shaped; i.e., unbranched and with the trunk bare of lower laterals, the crown progressively more lens-shaped. Aged specimens are rare and often exhibit a slightly fluted base with rippled bark, reminiscent of an elephant's foot.

    In terms of hazard, only a trained arborist can advise you of the health of the tree. If the area is particularly windy and the tree is unhealthy, with poor roots, there is a chance it could topple. However, the normal life expectancy in cultivation is probably around 150 years (in the UK) and rooting is known to be extensive, so I wouldn't worry in the slightest if the tree looks healthy; it should be around for some time yet. The only real danger is directly below the crown, where the shed lateral branches accumulate.

    Any arboricultural text will cite numerous reasons why topping conifers is a bad idea. For starters, try Harris, Clark and Matheny, 1999, Arboriculture, integrated management of trees, shrubs and vines (3rd Edition), Prentice Hall. Or try the International Society of Arboriculture (see this link), which has a chapter in Italy. You ought to be congratulated for maintaining such a wonderful, awe-inspiring tree. We'd love to see a picture of it sometime.

    Thanks for contributing.
     
  3. ciccioserver

    ciccioserver Member

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    Thanks Douglas Justice!

    Dear Douglas Justice,

    Thanks so much for your promt and very helpful reply!
    I am going to take pictures of it tomorrow and post them.
    To your knowledge, is there a way to easily see if the tree is a male or famale?

    Thanks again!
    Ciccioserver
     
  4. ciccioserver

    ciccioserver Member

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    Pictures of my Monkey puzzle tree

    Hey Douglas Justice,
    As promised I am attaching the pictures.
    Sorry for the bad quality but my digital camera broke and I am using a junky substitute!
    Have a great day
     

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