To grow a Monkey Puzzle Tree in the West Kootenays...

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by zusman, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    Location:
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    Michael F, LPN & David,
    thanks for your information. I hadn't realized
    that a plant could have so many fans :)
    Great photo David!
    I'll have to look for it, next time I'm in Castlegar.
    I'm near Balfour, so I'll be watching around here...
    and 6-mile too!
    I've been eyeballing my snow-covered front yard,
    looking for the perfect spot to plant this little guy...knowing
    it could get quite big over time!
     
  2. velvet

    velvet Member

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    A friend has one in Beasley about 15' tall. It's pretty sheltered by other trees.

    I have one in Ymir! It was given to me by a friend who wants to see where they can grow here. I think it's about 3 years old, but not really sure, and is ~2' tall. She said it was raised in a cold environment to acclimatize it to cold winters.

    It's in a 1' diametre pot, and survived its first winter last year, dug into the ground and covered with leaves, on the north side of an unheated building. This summer the trunk split into 5 sections, and the branches got longer too (it has 3 levels of branches). One of them got a bit brown on the end during the summer but it recovered from that. Overall it seems pretty happy. I just put it back in the ground for the winter. My friend who gave it to me has her's in Blewett but it didn't do very well and got lots of brown tips. She said by next year it should be ready to go in the ground, but I may just move it up to a larger pot to give it another year or two.

    The telling time will be once it's over 4-6' tall when the snow will no longer protect it.

    They aren't a particularly favourite tree of mine, as they are so prickly, but I am enjoying the experiment.

    eta- I'm guessing I'm zone 4-5, cold but with heavy snow cover.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  3. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    Thanks for the reply!
    I planted it this spring. It's about 2' tall, I was thinking of covering it
    with leaves & see what happens.
    I'm up near Balfour, and I don't think we get quite as much snow.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed....
    all winter :)
     
  4. David Peters

    David Peters Member

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    Velvet I have heard of the large Beasley tree and have even driven throughout Beasley trying to locate it; must be well hidden in their yard. Do you know when they first planted it? I am trying to get an age on these larger specimen trees in our area - especially the Beasley and Castlegar specimens. Just yesterday, I found another small tree in Nelson just over 1 metre tall....the list is growing. Also, smilingbluedog you are not alone having a Monkey Puzzle in Balfour, there is already a well established tree growing there. I have not seen this particular tree but my co-worker lives in Balfour and she has seen it numerous times.
     
  5. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    An update since last summer....
    My monkey puzzle survived the winter and is showing new growth,
    although I think it got some frost damage, the reddish color on some branches,
    but it made it!
    I'll try & post a photo of it.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/12928209@N04/3686603916/
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Congrats!

    How much snow cover did it have through the coldest parts of the winter?
     
  7. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    It was completely covered...couldn't even see a bump in the snow where it was!
     
  8. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That's quite likely what saved it.

    Cheers, Barrie.
     
  9. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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  10. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    Thought you might like to see our Monkey Puzzle tree, after it's 3rd winter, in
    the Kootenays, (and our dog, Spike:)
     

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  11. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    Sad to report that our little monkey puzzle got squashed by falling tree this winter. Only a couple of inches left of it's stem:( I'm not very optimistic of the outcome, so will be on the lookout for another one.
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It'll sprout from the stump no problem.
     
  13. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    Hi Michael,
    I hope you're right... so I won't give up hope just yet :)
     
  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  15. smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog Member

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    Thanks again Michael,
    I'll just take a photo of the stump this year (once the snow melts).
     
  16. dirty sixisixsix

    dirty sixisixsix Member

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    That is awesome to hear....I'll soon be testing the waters in the South Okanagan for Summerland's potential for growing Monkey trees after that Kootenay report.
    I've had these twins going on in Langley now for the last 20 years. Lucy, on the right always did show up Charlie(Brown) but their heights have always remained similar. A couple of summer's ago Lucy produced a few large cones, but none last summer.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
    Daniel Mosquin likes this.
  17. Partelow

    Partelow New Member

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    Just to round out the story of monkey puzzle in the BC interior, I have failed three times at my location in the South Okanagan to establish one here. I am not surprised though to read of the successes in the West Kootenay. I believe mine failed because of the low humidity of our winter cold, and lack of reliable snow cover. Despite being statistically warmer than the West Kootenay,my ground often freezes deeply. I had a friend in my general area who did succeed for many years with monkey puzzle, but it never looked well and eventually succumbed. I don’ t believe the provenance of the monkey puzzle seedlings makes much difference as they all descend from trees in a very limited area of Chile. I saw them in situ once and they look just as odd there as they do here. Nevertheless it is possible some trees have a little more genetic hardiness than others. Anyways “hats off” to you West Kootenay growers and continued success. Eventually one of the survivors may cone and seed and it would be worth another try with seeds from it.
     
  18. zusman

    zusman Member

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    A quick update some 11+ years later. Two Monkey Puzzle trees have since been thriving at the edge of my parents' garden on Upper Arrow Lake near Burton, BC. They covered the young trees during one rough winter when they were maybe only established for a year or two but have since taken a laissez faire approach to winters. The trees do get some peripheral enjoyment of a sprinkler system serving the garden in the summer (it does get very hot and dry there in peak summer). While the coldest frosts of one year lead to a bit of damage the trees have generally thrived and been a low maintenance addition by my parents' report. The trees were picked up at a Van Dusen plant sale in Vancouver in the spring of 2007 when I first posted my query.

    Happy gardening!
     
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