Monkey-puzzle tree

The Monkey-puzzle tree grows in the temperate sub-Antartican forestsof South america. The tree bears fruits that grow high in the canopy. The stam and branches are covered with nasty spikes. They can become huge, the canopy can be more then 30 meter above the ground.

A monkey puzzle tree covered with snow.

Monkey-puzzle tree reproduction

The tree is usually dioecious, so with the male and female cones on separate trees. The pollunation is done by the wind, the pollen can travel up to 10km. The seeds germinated easely when fresh.

Monkey-puzzle tree nuts

The female trees prodoces large fruit, with the sieze of a small coconut, containing 300 seeds each. Inside the fruit there are soom 4 cm large soft nuts. It take at least 20 years before the female tree will produce fruits. 1 male tree can pollinate 5 females. The fruit fall of the tree in fall and are easely collected. Monkey Puzzle nuts can be eaten raw but are very starchy. The seeds are cooked and tastes like very sweet chestnut.

Monkey-puzzle tree wood

These tree grows amazingly straight and tall, so producing straight wood. The wood is light in color with red and yellow hue sometimes in it. A fungus will produce a blue color. This wood is not very resistent against water or insects.

monkey tree as a fence

The mony puzzle tree makes a good fence, against thieves and against rabbits

the future of the monkey tree

Monkey-trees are very productiv, and grow on places no other (nut or fruit) trees grow: harvesting and cultivation are cheap. The summer must be cool, the winter must be cold. But it takes a long time for fruit bearing.

the monkey tree, a living fossil

The monkey puzzle is one of the oldest living tree species, among the first to produce seeds. The monkey tree forests are unchanged over millions of years, the dino's have dissapeared. It is thought that brontosaurus feed on the nuts once.

Brachiosaurus the largest sauropod in the Late Jurassic, is seen here feeding on the soft nuts of Araucaria. Only the Brachiosaurus was tall enough to reached the soft fruits. Brachiosaurus was 27-30 meters tall and it weighed 40 tons. Apatosaurus (once called Brontosaurus), Diplodocus, Paralititan, Camarasaurus and the Titanosaurus are all relatives of the Brachiosaur.