[NAFEX] monkey puzzle

Rick Valley bamboogrove at cmug.com
Sun Apr 13 13:25:18 EDT 2003

I have seen cones (and collected them) on trees that were under 40 yrs. and
less than 40 ft. tall.
I think the poor yield in the NW cities is because of bad pollenation; the
trees are widely scattered in older neighborhoods.
I compare the nuts to pinenuts, only they are huge (like the end of your
little finger) and not at all "piney" flavored. I've eaten them in Chile and
the NW. (although here the seed value is so high it's a rich food indeed!)
They are easy to grow if they are planted when fresh. Fortunately the cones
do not drop whole, but come apart like a true fir or true cedar. (unlike
some other Araucaria species) If you're in a subtropicral place there's
Brazilian and Australian species to try.
I think parks would be the ideal place for large plantings. Lobby! It's a
threatened species and needs help. The timber is incredible too: in the
words of one high-end finish carpenter friend "it planes equally well in all
dimensions"; hence, day was, it was favored for huge Zepellin propellers.
One thing to watch out for, is sudden death- I assume they can get root rot,
perhaps there are fungal enemies here that can kill them. I've seen 4 die,
although nearby trees haven't followed.


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