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Botanic Gardeners' Blog

To read about Mike Hughes, our late Head Gardener, click here.

Peter Thompson's First Blog: Monkey Puzzle Tree Felling!

14th July 2022: Yesterday saw our Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria Araucana), a native of the Andes mountains in South America & our most famous tree in the garden, felled. Unfortunately our lovely Monkey Puzzle tree showed sign of die-back and by the end of 2020 was clearly dead. This sudden demise is common in these trees in the UK.

However it’s not all bad. We have a replacement planted nearby, and several planted in our pinetum (no. 29 on our map) grown from seed collected from wild trees in Chile.

We expected the tree to be rotten inside. However we got a surprise when sections started to be cut as it’s not, so lengths have been cut to salvage some of the timber. We have planned for a mobile sawmill to come in to the garden and plank the trunk in the near future. We will be cutting discs for educational purposes and hopefully we plan to create a timeline from the remaining trunk (at the base of the trunk it resembles an elephant's foot!).

Here are some photos of the felling:

In addition, here is a video clip of the felling.