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Araucariaceae Monkey puzzle trees, Wollemia and relatives - Growing, Propagation, Identification, Appreciation and more!

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Old March 29th, 2005, 01:20 PM
us_chickens us_chickens is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Montana, USA
Posts: 1
Starting New Monkey Puzzle Tree


I live in a small town in western Montana with my parents who own a Monkey Puzzle Tree (which, of course, is kept inside). They have had this tree for 25 years and have decided after moving to a smaller house that the tree needs a new home.

A few years ago my father was very ill. During this time most of our house plants died because he wasn't able to water them and the rest of us forgot to. The tree suffered from this and lost most of its branches. It has since then grown back most of what it lost, but does not look nearly as good as it once did. Because of the state of the tree my father decided that we should just let it die. This idea is not very popular with the rest of the family, so the tree is sitting in an empty house which will soon be sold. I haven't been able to think of a way to keep the tree, as I do not have a place of my own quite yet.

So, my question is, is it easy to take a trimming from the tree and start a new one? If so, how should I go about it? If not, any suggestions as to what I should do with the tree? I don't want to see it die. I was going to donate it to the local library, but it looks far too ugly at this point, and I'm sure they would not want it.

Thanks for any help.

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Old April 14th, 2005, 10:56 PM
Newt Newt is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Maryland USA zone 7
Posts: 1,277
Re: Starting New Monkey Puzzle Tree

Hi Dorothy,

Your story has touched my heart. Yes, you can take cuttings and propagate another tree. From this site:
"Propagation: By seeds or by tip cuttings from vertical shoots. Cuttings from lateral-growing shoots will develop into sprawling shrubs."

And from this site:
"Cuttings of half-ripe wood, May to July in a cold frame. Only epicormic side-shoots should be used, normal side-shoots do not develop properly. An epicormic shoot is one that develops from a dormant bud on the main trunk of the tree."

Here's more info on your tree.

Here's sites on how to propagate cuttings. Take lots of cuttings in case they don't all make it.

Overview of Cutting Propagation - explains many of the terms such as hardwood, softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings.

Explains the different types of cuttings ie: hardwood, semi-hardwood and softwood and hardwood.

Good info here from pages 8 and 9 for you.

This is a different plant, but will give you an idea of what you need to do.

If you want to use a rooting hormone, dip in water first.

Best to use a pencil to make the hole in the perlite so the perlite won't scratch the stem and rub off the hormone. That's not shown in any of these pics.

Press the perlite around the stem.

Several cuttings in a tray.

Tray with plastic and propped with sticks or chop sticks.

Keep your covered cuttings in a shady place. Make a couple of air holes for ventilation.

You CAN do this.
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
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