Propagation: Propagating Monkey Puzzle from cuttings? and a few other questions...

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by DanielT, May 10, 2014.

  1. DanielT

    DanielT New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Juan Islands
    I live on 5 well-drained, south-facing acres on San Juan Island, and I intend to plant a number of Monkey Puzzle ( Araucaria araucana) with the hope of some day harvesting nuts (or letting someone else who lives longer). I have heard that these trees can resprout from a stump, unlike most conifers, and I am wondering if anyone has heard of attempts to propagate them from cuttings of a mature tree? This would be useful for distinguishing males and females, as only pollinated females produce nuts, though I have read that monoecious specimens do occur now and then. The idea of jumpstarting nut production (as with grafted walnuts) is intriguing as well but perhaps too hopeful.

    Another thing I am curious about is how much they might benefit from irrigation (in the rainshadow area 20-30 inches annual precipitation). I think I read a post in this forum from someone in Victoria who said that they are drought resistant when mature but will benefit from watering when young...
    I am hoping to visit Victoria later this year to look at more Monkey Puzzles growing in this rain shadow climate, so any pointers to outstanding trees would be great. We have a handful here on the island, and there is apparently one with viable seed in Anacortes, but it's a great excuse to visit Victoria.

    I am assuming that it is illegal to transport seeds or plant material of A. araucana across international borders given its endangered status, but would be interested to hear from anyone who knows more about that. I know there are quite a few of these trees scattered around the Northwest already, but it would be very intriguing to visit the native forests in Chile someday in search of a individuals with superior nuts or from climatic regions similar to our own...
    As you can tell I really like these trees and am looking forward to having a few of my own.
     
  2. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    gulf island, bc, canada
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,126
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Agree it is best to use seed-grown plants - that way you also get the genetic diversity necessary for good seed production. Cuttings all of one or very few clones could result in poor or even no seed production. There's also the additional problem that it is very difficult to grow from cuttings, as only erect lead shoots will succeed, cuttings of side branches never regain apical dominance.
     
  4. DanielT

    DanielT New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Juan Islands
    Thanks for the info, good to know that seeds are available internationally. Maintaining genetic diversity is definitely important. I wonder if our ornamentally-planted Monkey Puzzles here are mostly from one area or seed source in Chile, who knows what kind of interesting variations there could be in its home range...
     

Share This Page