Fruit and Nut
|Seed and germinated seed special offers|
Updated 11th July 2019
For barerooted fruit and nut tree special offers click here
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Please note that all offers are subject to availability
Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana)
The Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) is a coniferous tree sometimes known as the Araucarian or Chilean pine, although it is not actually a pine species. It is the hardiest member of the genus Araucaria, in the Araucariaceae family, the other members of which are found widely scattered in Oceania, northern Australia and parts of South America. The Monkey Puzzle is native to the south-central Andes, the main habitat region being situated at latitudes between 37.5 and 39.5ºS. It is found mainly on the Chilean side, typically above 1000m. The climate is mild temperate and annual rainfall is 1250-2000mm (in one locality up to 4000mm).
In their native habitat Monkey Puzzle trees can grow up to 48m high and live for over 1200 years. Mature trees produce large cones, each of which contains up to 200 nuts. The nuts are both tasty and nutritious and have been long prized as a food by indigenous peoples. In the wild, trees begin to produce nuts at around 25-40 years. However, there is strong evidence that cultivated trees begin flowering much earlier in life (early flowering in a common phenomena in cultivated seed-grown trees and may be partly due to root stress during the first few years). The first cones have been recorded on cultivated Monkey Puzzle trees at around 12 years.
Popular as an ornamental tree, the Monkey Puzzle has been planted in many northern hemisphere countries and is found growing well as far north as 63ºN in western Norway. It will tolerate wet maritime climates, salt exposure, and winter temperatures down to -20°C.
Germinated Monkey Puzzle seeds
The seeds are collected by the nursery, kept in cold storage over the winter then germinated in compost. The sprouted seeds now have a nice root, 7-12cm long. Success rate with the sprouted seeds is normally at least 60 percent (at the nursery 80 percent is more typical).
The seeds should be planted into a bed of compost or well prepared soil at a spacing of about 5cm, with 10-20cm between rows, taking care not to damage the delicate roots. Alternatively the seeds can be sown in small pots.
Water well after planting and also during any period of dry weather. It is quite normal for the leading shoot to wither and turn brown. However within a week or two a new strong shoot will emerge. The seedlings are slow growing and can be left in the same bed/pot until the end of the following year, when they should be potted up into 3-5L pots. The young araucaria plants are susceptible to excess water, especially in winter, and for this reason we prefer to use airpots (due to the greatly increased drainage). The drainage in ordinary plastic pots can be improved by drilling more holes in the bottom, and by putting stones/pieces of broken crockery in the bottom.
The special offers represent a considerable saving on normal prices, and a very cheap way of raising bulk quantities of Monkey Puzzle for eventual resale or for planting out.
Owing to the delicate nature of the sprouted seeds and the risk of damage or loss during delivery, the special offers apply to collected orders only.