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Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Posted by theyardman 6AB SE Michigan (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 26, 10 at 16:46

I am curious if I am the only zone pusher to have Monkey Puzzle Tree? It is a beautiful and prehistoric looking plant. It is very hardy here in a Zone 6, but it doesn't grow too much.

Any reason why? I've had it 3 years now and have only seen a six inch growth over those years.

Please advise, maybe they are just slow growers, or maybe it just needs to get established, or what else could it be?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

The hardy monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) is said to be hardy into zone 7 (didn't know they would survive a zone 6). The problem with these is they tend to have issue with excessive cold AND HEAT. But I believe Monkey puzzle is also relatively slow growing. My collection includes cold hardy plants of all kinds and tropicals, but when it comes to worry about summer and winter conditions, I draw the line. They tend to resent high summer temperatures (especially at night). In my area they would be suited to Long Island and the Jersey shore. Still, I one time I saw nice ones at a really good price at a local nursery, I foolishly passed them by. Some species are also so wickedly prickly--I tend to avoid growing stuff with spines or thorns (exceptions being cacti, euphorbia, citrus, and some palms).--Besides, right now have a nine plus foot Norfolk Island pine which is an Araucaria (without the prickliness--and a faster grower--though not winter hardy). Good luck with an fascinating plant.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Ive also seen them here. I have seen 2 by me, one is probably around 15 feet tall and was about 3 blocks from the water and the other was in a backyard and is only about 5 or 6 feet tall, and was planted right by the water (with many very nice looking evergreen magnolias and various yuccas). Niether the large monkey puzzel tree nor the smaller one, was protected and both were perfectly green.

I think what keeps people from getting these trees are
1, they grow HUGE I mean they can grow to 100 feet tall even in a zone 7
2, they are sharp and a 100 foot tree that drops sharp branches from the top of the tree during a hurricane or strong snow storm isnt good.
3, I dont see them available anywhere. Ive only seen seedlings off ebay, or moderate sized ones that are very expensive.
lastly, I dont think a lot of people know about this beautiful plant. They would look so nice in a grove by the water at about 40 feet tall, but instead endless bradford pears are planted.

If I saw them for sale at a nice price and I could find some room for them, I would plant it in a hurry. Im just not sure if I have the space to fit this tree's needs in the long run. But they do great along the coast over here in NYC and NJ and probably in any zone 7b or zone 7a climate. Im happy to see some around here and there, but they are definitely under planted. I also didnt know they could handle a zone 6 without protection, but Im very happy to hear that they can! Im not sure of the growth rate over here, but it must be pretty fast maybe 1 foot of growth a year, but thats really just a guess.

Good luck!


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I saw one 40 foot one on staten island
search this on google maps and then go to street view
208 Darlington Ave, New York, NY, United States

this was in 2004-2006 I saw this tree last year. if the noreaster didn't wipe it out it should be well above the roof.


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RE: Does anyone have Monkey Puzzle Trees

this one is also worth seeing along with the big pindo
4286 Richmond Ave, New York, NY, United States

I also got a new palm from lowes
and one of my trachys with spear pull is pushing a new spear i hope this rain doesn't make it rot.

Photobucket

sorry about the poor quality


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I just googled the monkey puzzel tree you were talking about in staten island. It looks really impressive. I hope that march noreaster didnt do any damage to it. It really tore the area apart. Power outages everywhere! And lots of trees and fences down. That had to be the strongest wind I have seen in the area in a very long time. It pushed my 30 pound table across the yard. But anyway, very impressive. I also got to see that pindo palm! It gives me hope that one day I will be able to grow my pindo unprotected. Im trying a livingstonia, medditeranean fan palm, sabal domingensis (possibly), and chamaedorea microspadix (possibly) in additon to my other palms. I think its really worth a try.

And glad to here your trachy is recovering. What palm did you get from lowes??

Good luck!


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

The sabal minor


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Very nice! It might need protection for its first year though because mine got burned leaf tips with protection. Im sure once established they wont need any protection at all and can handle close to 0F when its used to its surroundings.

Good luck!


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

That one has eluded me. I've wanted one, but never found a very good source. Years ago, I used to see them fairly regularly at places like Bordine's in roughly 3 gallon pots, around 3 or 4 feet tall, for say $40-$50.

The only local place I've seen one in years was out at Arrowhead Alpines in Fowlerville, and they were asking $30 for a four inch seedling. Not that I begrudge them, but it was too rich for my blood for the size.

If I came across a decent source for something big enough to have a fighting chance, I'd try it.

My blue Giant Sequoia came through this winter pretty pristine. It usually has some burn, but recovers rapidly each spring. It too had grown slowly -- was about 2 feet tall when planted like 5 or 6 years ago, now it's about 6 to 6 feet.

I think any marginal climate makes things grow very slowly -- look at the way trees near the treeline on mountains or in the Arctic are dwarfed.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Hey Dennis

Once you see a healthy spear coming up you really should be free and clear from rot (-:

Click for Fairfield, Iowa Forecast


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I have seen a couple of these trees around the city in Brooklyn and Staten Island. I was surprized they could endure winter here without protection, although keeping it planted within 10 feet of the house will help. Do they reach 100 ft - I do not think that will happen here with the stronger cold winds higher up.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I sure hope they dont get that tall over here, but there are some tall ones and they are fairly young. If the record lows of all time around here (probably somewhere near -5F to -10F) cant kill them, then they might get that tall. The smaller one I was talking about was away from the house and still looked good, so they seem to have no probelm handling temps in the teens and maybe the single digits. Plus a huge tree might be more cold tolerant so even if we get sub zero temps again (which is around record low status) then there is a chance that by then they will be established enough to grow back albeit with damage.

Good luck!


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I know this isn't saying much, but I know these trees can survive lows in the upper 20s for a few days in a row. My father who lives in Florida says those were the winter lows down there and there are numerous mature specimens there. I'm thinking about trying one or two here in Maryland in between Baltimore and Washington DC. I don't remember the last time temps went below zero. Does anyone think a monkey puzzle tree could survive here?

Thanks,
TJ


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Go for it!! It should thrive. It has grown very well around the NYC area and seems to be growing in many other similar climates with NO damage and NO protection. Maybe a very record breaking winter would inflict damage, but it takes a lot to kill these trees!

Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

It will do great just look at this one in staten island also zone 7

Here is a link that might be useful: streetview


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Link is to a picture taken by Boca Joe. It's of a Monkey Puzzle tree in Potomac MD. around 50 ft.

Here is a link that might be useful: Monkey Puzzle Tree in Potomac MD


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Hiya

I have an MP plant in my garden (zone 6A). It's a young plant like 70-80 cm tall. The best thing it has survived last winter when temps went down to -30C (and lower) for several nights and the frosty period lasted for about 7 weeks with temps not higher than -10C. I put up a little tent made of gardening fleece over my plant and buried it all in snow just in case. There's some leaf burn but only on lowest branches and only old leaves are damaged. All young parts of the plant are unscathed.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I posted the original message on here. Since I asked the first question about growth rate, I checked it again today and there is some new growth budding on the end of each arm.

This tree has survived 3 Michigan Winters near Detroit and is unscathed. It is very green. We are an anomoly in the Upper Midwest because along Lk Michigan and SE Michigan are both a solid Zone 6 like northern TN or even VA. Look on a Zone Chart is sort of weird that we are so warm; it's mainly due to our position in the Great Lakes that allows us to have a more moderate climate.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I have a Monkey Puzzle here in Maryland. I love the trees and finally pulled the trigger and bought a small one. Its been in the ground for a year now and doing fine i.e. growing slowly. I also have a seedling.

There is a large one in a circular driveway in Georgetown near Dumbarton Oaks.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I've been watching the tree near Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown (Washington DC, zone 7) for several years. It has been there for at least 10 or 15 years and is now about 15 feet tall. They do seem to be very slow growers but if it's happy otherwise, I suspect it will speed up a bit once it's well-established and a bit bigger.

There is apparently a much larger one in Maryland just outside DC, but it has been there for something like 30 years.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I've got a monkey puzzle that came out of it's third winter just fine,here in zone 4b.It's very small, about 12 in., so it's covered with snow most of winter and of course doesn't grow much...Also have two sequoias with three winters under their belt. I know I'm gonna lose them at some point.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Wow, I cant believe you got a monkey puzzle tree to survive in a zone 4 for so long with no protection! Do you have any pics of it? Im sure the snow probably keeps it well insulated but still pretty interesting. As far as the seqouias go, a cold winter will probably take them out, but if they grow really well and tall until then you can always replace them.

Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

T-Zone-- I suspect they are a lot more hardy than their rep. Back in the day, I spend a great amount of time in the Italian Alps, not far from Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. I saw several large Monkey Puzzle trees doing just fine.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Its great to hear that they are so much more hardy than I expected. They look pretty tropical considering that it could survive such a cold climate. I dont think it could get to a large size in anything less than a zone 6b because of the cold winds and very heavy snow loads, but it looks like it can survive below a zone 6. I think this tree should be grown a lot more but because of its huge size and sharp edges, fewer people will probably be giving this beauty a try.

Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I saw them on the sides of mountains that had permanent snow caps i.e. through the year. Granted they were not on top, but not much lives there anyway. They were in the yards located midway up the peaks. Quite livable, but still serious alpine territory with very snowy winters.

As I understand it, they are not tropical per se. Nonetheless, I really like them, Norfolk Island Pines, and others like them. Very cool trees.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I really love mature norfolk island pines and I think monkey puzzle trees have a really similar look to them. Monkey puzzle trees look tropical, but seem to be far from it!


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I like the Norfolks as well. I learned the hard way that they are tropical (don't ask what I did).

I bought one during Christmas from a grocery store a couple of years ago for twenty bucks. I have had to repot it twice as it has grown by leaps and bounds. It loves spending the warm seasons on the patio.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I also bought one during christmas, but the bad thing about buying plants that time of the year is that you arent as likely to buy pots for them so since it was in a small nursery pot, I died due to the lack of water. Still a beautiful tree though when older, but best suited for the tropics but areas that are not prone to hurricanes because they are very prone to wind damage and there sharp leaves can hurt someone.

Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I have an 8 foot monkey puzzle tree fo4r sale, nice and healthy, genuine reason for sale. All reasonable offers considered.
Genuine reason for sale, buyer to collect, Peterborough.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I was very much intrigued by the monkey puzzle trees I saw growing in the UK this past summer and managed to find a three foot one to plant last fall. It did beautifully through the winter and put on an encouraging amount of new growth this past spring. And the minute the weather actually turned HOT at the beginning of June it started to die. Its decline was very dramatic. It was totaly brown within two weeks.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

That's too bad josephine. Here in the DC area, we have pretty hot summers and as of yesterday, my Monkey Puzzle is doing well. Leads me to suspect there was another issue.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I've been in the DC area in summer and lived in coastal Virginia for several years. We do get and stay consistently hotter down here in SC and it can get hot rather dramatically fast. The decline in my late lamented monkey puzzle was directly proportional to the rise in temperature. It was doing beautifully until then and had put on quite bit of new growth in May. It could be that it was shocked. It had been grown in Japan. I planted in October and at the beginnig of June the temperature rose rather suddenly from the lower 80's to the upper 90's. It hasn't cooled off since and won't until mid September. Could be that if it had had longer to acclimatize gradually it might've survived. I dug it up today and replaced it with a waggy palm. I decided not to gamble on another one. It was expensive and If it couldn't handle June, it would never make it through August.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

I am no expert but it sounds as if there was some "pre-existing condition." While SC is hotter than DC, it has been very hot here, hitting the upper 90s nearly every day. But maybe there is a "southern limit" on the East Coast. Give it another try.

If you are passing through, bring a saw palmetto and I will swap my Monkey Puzzle seedling for it.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

selling my monkey puzzle tree as its out grown my garden buyer must collect from bucks uk its 15- 20 ft 25 years old 07873822370


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

where are you located and how much i might be interested


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Well, I am now into my fouth year with the Monkey Puzzle Tree here in Suburban Detroit. We just came out of the cloudiest and rainiest first half of a year on record. The MP is doing just fine, as a matter of fact, it is growing more this Spring/Summer than in past years. It is now over 3 feet tall and started as a puny little 9" spike with two buds on the end. I would have to say, SE Michigan might be the perfect climate for these extremely exotic and beautiful trees.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

What are monkey puzzle trees? Are they tropical?


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Who would buy my two 50 ft monkey puzzle trees.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

We have. Two 50 ft monkey puzzle trees. Who do I turn to sell the historic beautiful shade trees


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

Hunter, Monkey Puzzle Trees are in the genus Araucaria. The cold hardiest is Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle Tree). This one is hardy to zone 7. I have a smaller one that I may, one day, plant out in the back. They do like more mild climates though (not too cold, not to hot). But, I have a thing for prehistoric, verging on extinct plants/tress, so eventually will have a specimen tree in the yard, I hope!

P.S., Norfolk Island Pine is a relative but it is much less cold hardy!


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

those look more like Araucaria bidwiliis , not Monkey Puzzle Trees (Araucaria aracanas). I don't think those move that well, and they grow really fast, so most will probably opt to buy a young one and grow it up to that size.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

There are many large ones throughout California. I can think of two massive ones off the top of my head here in Fresno.


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RE: Does anyone else have Monkey Puzzle Trees

The Lancaster County Historical Society just dug up a 50' one with the tag to identify it when they built an addition...idiots probably sent it to the dump. They sell them at several nurseries in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, but they are a bit salty in price. 8' tall ones are about $450. But they are gorgeous...and really, really, really slow-growing.


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