How to Grow and Care For a Monkey Puzzle Tree

How to Grow and Care For a Monkey Puzzle Tree

Being an avid gardener is an amazingly highly effective factor. Because the world’s local weather shifts and increasingly more species teeter on the sting of extinction, we regularly discover ourselves capable of assist in the method of retaining a plant from disappearing by persevering with to plant it in our gardens. 

Araucaria Araucana, generally referred to as the Monkey Puzzle Tree, is a kind of timber teetering on that seesaw. This can be a tree that is named a residing fossil as a result of the species has been on the planet because the time of the dinosaurs.

Whereas numerous different species have confronted extinction since then, this tree has carried out a tremendous job at surviving – till people influenced their setting. Now we should do our greatest to maintain this wondrous specimen from going the best way of its Jurassic interval contemporaries. 

The Monkey Puzzle tree is a coniferous gymnosperm with a wildly uncommon look that’s the origin of its equally odd title. A member of the English parliament, Sir William Molesworth, was having a luncheon with some pals at his nation dwelling, and whereas exhibiting his backyard, his good friend, the well-known lawyer, Charles Austin, mentioned of the tree, “It might puzzle a monkey to climb that.” Having no frequent title at that time, the title caught.

Trying on the tree you possibly can see why our primate cousins can be confused. The foliage will not be just like the usually needle-shaped sort. As a substitute, they’re leathery, broad and dagger-like.

These natural daggers don’t drop off the tree both, they linger for ten to fifteen years which frequently means you will note these giant broad leaves on fairly substantial branches or on the trunk itself.  The tree is left with a thick leathery coating on the bark that’s resistant to fireplace and acts as a deterrent in opposition to bigger animals damaging the trunk. 

Within the early (actually early years) of the tree’s historical past, its native vary was huge, it lined an space on the supercontinent of Gondwana which right now encompasses the continents of South America, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctica throughout hundreds of thousands of years of continental drift. At present, although, the tree can solely be present in a really small tract of land in Chile totaling about 151 miles 2.. The Monkey Puzzle tree resides in two distinct biospheres, the mountainous rainforest of the Andes Mountains and the coastal mountains of the Andes on the alternative slope.

Because of the proximity to the coast, the tree has developed wonderful salt tolerance.  

Human-set fires, forestry, and the introduction of latest species of animals have led to the Monkey puzzle tree’s latest demise. The tree takes as much as 40 years to supply cones and is extremely long-lived — as much as 1200 years. Typically the timber don’t reside lengthy sufficient to succeed in an age the place cone manufacturing is feasible, due to this fact the following era doesn’t proceed.

Although it’s now a protected tree by CITES (the Conference on Worldwide Commerce in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), has been named the nationwide tree of Chile, and is a landmark tree in a number of nationwide parks, a concerted effort must be made to preserve the Monkey Puzzle tree.

You possibly can assist with this effort by planting one in your backyard. Apart from the conservation effort, it’s a exceptional tree and makes an awesome dialog piece.

Botanical Title  Araucaria Araucana
Frequent Title  Monkey Puzzle Tree
Plant Kind Tree 
Mature Dimension 50.00 to 80.00 ft. tall, 20.00 to 30.00 ft. large
Solar Publicity Full Solar
Soil Kind Semi-rich, evenly moist, well-drained soils
Soil pH Adaptable
Bloom Time Non-flowering
Flower Coloration Non-flowering
Hardiness Zone 7-10
Toxicity Non-toxic

Monkey Puzzle Tree Care

If you do not have the best local weather to assist year-round out of doors planting, this tree grows effectively in a container that may be introduced inside to overwinter.  Within the northernmost zones and areas the place summers are very popular, it’s endorsed to decide on your website rigorously.

The Monkey Puzzle tree could be very adaptable, however does greatest in milder summers and winters. Putting it in a sheltered space in a lot of these local weather is usually recommended. When you discover a good location you’re able to plant.

As with each tree or shrub, you’ll need to plant the tree shallow, in a gap that’s wider than it’s deep. The usual is 2 instances wider than the container or rootball is deep.

It’s at all times good to have a serving to hand to verify your tree is totally straight as you fill the soil again into the opening. Then, place two to a few inches of mulch round your tree with out it touching the trunk. You could need to stake your tree to make sure robust winds don’t displace it. 

After you plant your Monkey Puzzle tree soak the tree totally and water it weekly with lengthy soaks that drench the complete root system. Much less frequent deep watering is healthier than extra typically shallow watering.  

Mild

Monkey puzzle timber need full solar and don’t tolerate shady areas. If rising in a container, be certain that the window will get loads of direct mild. 

Soil

One actual optimistic about rising the Monkey Puzzle tree is that it’s going to tolerate a variety of soils offering they’re deep and the drainage is sweet. In a container, including some perlite to the potting combine could assist the drainage. 

Water

If the tree has established itself and you’ve got watered it effectively for the primary 12 months or two as instructed above, then watering your Monkey Puzzle is low upkeep. The tree prefers medium moist soil and that may often be maintained by the precipitation that happens naturally. If a dry spell does happen, water as wanted. For a plant in a container apart from retaining the soil moist, a daily misting shall be wanted.  

Temperature and Humidity

The ranges for the Monkey Puzzle tree are USDA 7-10, nevertheless it doesn’t do effectively within the hotter temperatures and doesn’t tolerate dry climate. It’s chilly hardy to -4o F. 

In case your backyard is dry or can attain colder temperatures, think about going the container route.

Fertilizer

The Monkey Puzzle Tree doesn’t want supplemental feeding.

Is the Monkey Puzzle Tree Poisonous?

The Monkey Puzzle tree will not be poisonous, the seeds are edible and are farmed in Chile. They style very similar to a pine nut.

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