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Monkey puzzle tree   /   Araucaria araucana

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Monkey Puzzle Tree - Araucaria araucana, araucaria imbricata (latin)

Areas of origin: Argentina and Chile between 800 (875yds) and 1600 m (1750yds). Introduced in 1795.
Adult Dimensions: Height up to 40m (131'), width up to 15m (49.2').
Soil Type: Not too wet. Dislikes lime.
Hardiness:Tolerant to -24°C.
Exposure:Full sun.

Once upon a time ...
The Monkey Puzzle tree is the nickname of the Araucaria araucana, thus called because of its umbrella-like appearance and its foliage.
Originally from the Andes mountains of Chile, this tree does not share its territory with apes, so why this strange name? As the story goes, an English explorer discovering this tree for the first time and remarking on its sharp-edged branches, said it would puzzle a monkey to try to climb it. Then, this tree became popular in Europe, and quite famous in France where the name was translated into "Désespoir des singes".

A unique conifer
The Araucaria araucana can reach heights of 30 to 40 m, but don't worry as it grows very slowly. It can be planted in any garden as long as it finds its place. Quite unusual, it does not look like any other ornamental tree. Its spiky, triangular-shaped leaves overlap one another. This tree is a favoured ornamental in public parcs and gardens.

Our advice for growing this tree
The Araucaria can be planted in open ground in regions with a mild climate. Chose a sunny area, sheltered from the wind. The soil has to be well-drained because it does not like standing water. In a colder area, it is better to protect its branches and spread some wood chips or mulch at its foot to spend the winter. It is possible to plant it in a pot or container, with a thick layer of clay balls in the bottom, watering only moderately.

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Pépinières PLANFOR
1950 Route de Cère
Tel : (020).7660.0178