Thursday, April 12, 2012

Monkeypuzzles big and small

There is something odd, something special about our part of the little town I grew up in. Something mysterious in the soil. There must be. You see our part of town is full of awesome looking monkey puzzles. Typically monkeypuzzles of any size drop their lower branches to produce a rather ugly "lollipop" (thus). Around us though they are beautiful. My Aunt and Uncle had a beauty, an absolute monster, that dwarfed their house and would, were the gaps twixt branches filled, have had a Sequoia-esque silhouette. It was chopped down after they died alas. Another good one (a male) was chopped down on our road a couple of year's back. From a certain angle though you can still see a  couple of distinctive silhouettes between roofs and fences though....


and yes, that collared dove (which I put there for scale) is sat on a female cone. There are lots and unless I miss my guess they are so big they must have been pollinated. My Dad knows this tree's owner and is going to ask. Perhaps I will finally get to taste monkeypuzzle nut! Here's a better look at those cones...


Didn't I mention above that a big 'puzzle was chopped down a couple of years back? Well it's one of those truths that get universally acknowledged that conifers when felled to stumps don't regrow. Of course the truly ancient conifers, the redwoods and araucariaceae, are survivors whose species are too old to pay heed to such truths. They just keep going.

Which is why I can present you with this. A successfully (but accidentally) coppiced monkey-puzzle
fig. 1. The Chainsaw-puzzle.

1 comment:

Julia said...

Most impressive! And I'm reassured that I was getting there on figuring out what had happened when I commented that it resembled my Cunninghamia. I'll be interested to see how it develops with time.