Mystery Seed

sam_mdMay 21, 2011

Hi everyone,

I've been in S.America. While wandering along I heard a commotion overhead. It turned out to be green parrots fighting over this seed. What tree does it come from? Does it grow where you live? Have never seen it in my state. Do you know of any examples on the East Coast of USA?

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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Sam, did you look up?........ and see what conifer it was?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 10:44PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

Nice Araucaria seeds. The look to be A. angustifolia - if not, then A. araucana. You couldn't have missed the parent tree.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:17AM
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sam_md


Here is a vendor at the "Feria Libre" or Farmer's Market in Temuco, Chile. She is selling the same seed. I asked her about it, she said that people buy it from her only to eat. I think that salicaceae is on the right track.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:53PM
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pineresin

Seeds in the first photo are Araucaria araucana.

A. angustifolia has a much shorter spine on the end.

Resin

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:13PM
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sam_md


My compliments to resin for properly IDing the tree by seed alone.
Pictured here is A. araucana in Lanin Nat'l Park in Argentine Patagonia. Porous, volcanic soils suit it well along with its companion Antarctic Beech. Learning about Monkey Puzzle tree has been fascinating. The species has seen dinosaurs and woolly mammoth come and go. The species is protected under the CITES agreement.
My only question, why do I have to drive clear to Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk to see a significant specimen?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:44PM
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sam_md


I took this pic yesterday of a male MP tree at the Zoological Park in Norfolk, VA. The tree grows happily there and receives no special attention. Why do we see so few MP trees in eastern US?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 9:10PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

Root rot - they are notoriously susceptible to Phytopthora in warm, wet areas. It would also be killed by cold in areas below zone 8 in the east that occasionally see below zone cold.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 9:12AM
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sam_md

Another East Coast Araucaria araucana, this one just behind the castle at the Smithsonian. I don't think this tree has been there very long. I will be interesting to see if it can handle the heat, humidity and pollution of Washington DC.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:20PM
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bob_cville

I believe this is one too. Its in the DC area right across the street from the Pemberton Oaks gardens.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:21PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Dumbarton, not Pemberton. Is that picture recent? I wasn't sure if that tree was still there. If it can last much longer, it will get past the seeming danger stage when they can still die. There was a tree about this size on West Ox Rd. in the western suburbs of DC that died in the 1990s. Almost certainly purchased from "Betty's Azalea Ranch" which sold them in the early 1980s for the then very princely sum of $400.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:34PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

die easily, that is!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:35PM
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sam_md

bob_cville, thanks for your post. That's the tree I saw just after I went to the Nat'l Cathedral, kinda hard to miss it.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:20PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I'm glad the tree is still doing well.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:56PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

that smithsonian pic cracks me up ...

i am presuming that is a professional installation.. and apparently that professional.. really has no clue about staking a tree .. lol ...

any wind that would affect it.. would probably snap the top off.. long before it tipped over.. but then.. that kind of wind.. would be the type.. wherein i suggest.. we are going to have a lot of other problems regardless of that tree.. if those kind of winds hit the area ....

thx for the pix... and the mystery ...

ken

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:32AM
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canadianplant

There is a Monkey Puzzle or 2, of good size on the southern tip of nova scotia.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:04AM
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sam_md

ditto canadianplant, very respectable specimen on coastal Nova Scotia, see link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nova Scotia MPT

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:20PM
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gardenapprentice

The first picture the seed on the far left at the top is either a black walnut, ash, or "tree of heaven"

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:12PM
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gardenapprentice

The first picture the seed on the far left at the top is either a black walnut, ash, or "tree of heaven"

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:13PM
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sam_md

Found another. This tree is in Baltimore City. The owner stands by it, she planted it many years ago. She said there has never been a problem with this tree.
Earlier on this thread, salicaceae mentioned a fungal pathogen that caused root rot. Isn't it possible that the long-established trees pictured here have some resistance? I also believe that winter hardiness will vary depending on the source of the seed.
I read on another thread about the famous champion MPT in Pavo, Georgia. I checked it out, it is Chinafir :(

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:17PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Good to know of this Baltimore tree. I think I know where it is but I've never driven by there. I'm willing to give it a "mature" designation. (I'm sure Resin will not agree ;-) )

So now we have, known East Coast monkey puzzles of all time, in order of size:
The Barnes Arboretum tree
The Wilmington Rockwood Mansion tree (cut down for "not looking English enough" - my favorite anecdote ever about America's "professional" landscape architects, but was apparently quite large)
the Silver Spring tree (I will double-check on it soon, location is still not publicized)
the Baltimore tree
southern tip of Nova Scotia - one tree? But apparently they die back at Polly Hill Arboretum in coastal MA? We need a current picture of the NS tree after this winter.

----not mature yet, but getting close-------
the NJ tree I mentioned in the conifer forum - probably will be cut down now that the land is sold
the Norfolk, VA tree
the Dumbarton Oaks across the street tree

--even smaller, but apparently healthy-----
planting fields arboretum

----no chance of maturity, dead in fact------
hundreds of trees sold at exorbitant prices since at least the mid 1980s by American Plant Food, Behnkes, Merrifield, and Betty's Azalea Ranch...probably Styer's and a couple Baltimore nurseries too. Not to mention many mail order plants. Maybe a couple are well hidden away in private gardens, and someone is being very tight lipped about them.

any more?

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Wed, Jun 25, 14 at 8:16

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

USDA Hardiness Zone temperature ranges are averages, there are no "below zone" temperatures unless they are severe and frequent enough to change the average.

None of the eastern examples shown here are at all old or big. When you have Araucaria making skyline trees then you are seeing evidence of them being locally suited. Killer cold that takes out numbers of different kinds of trees and shrubs people having being growing up to that point may not be seen for intervals of decades at a time. The last one such winter here was in 1990, and was said to have been the coldest winter in 30 years.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 11:57AM
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