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Monkey Puzzle Tree

Araucaria araucana
  • £54.99 (ex VAT)
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The Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) is a distinctive, almost symmetrical looking tree with sharply pointed, leathery leaves (don't touch them without tough gloves on - we speak from experience!). This unique evergreen coniferous tree was given its common name ‘Monkey-puzzle’ when it was suggested that it would puzzle a monkey to climb it.

Araucaria araucana is very slow growing and will reach just 6 x 4 metres in 20 years creating a pyramidal shape. The leaves are so long lasting that sometimes the same leaf is held on the tree for 10 years or more Due to its eventual size, Monkey Puzzle trees are best suited to medium or larger gardens as a specimen tree. Extremely hardy and tolerant of even exposed coastal positions this tree will do well in any well drained soil in sun or part shade.

Female cones release edible nut like seeds (like large pine nuts) and is a food crop in Chile, although trees do not produce nut crops until mature (maybe 30 years old). Originating in central/southern Chile and western Argentina, this tree is also sometimes known as Chilean Pine (originally named Pinus araucana after the native Chileans who used the nuts as a main component of their diet).

  • Common name: Monkey Puzzle tree
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 6 x 4 metres
  • Seasons of interest: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
  • Origin: Central/southern Chile and western Argentina
  • Foliage: Evergreen, scale-like leaves
  • Soil: Best suited to moist but well-drained sites and all soil types except for chalky
  • Position: Full sun to partial shade

Interesting facts: the first saplings were brought to the UK in 1795 - the seeds were served as a dessert at a dinner hosted by the Governor of Chile and instead of eating them, Archibald Menzies a plant collector, planted them on the ship, Discovery, and by the time the ship returned to the UK, the saplings were ready to be planted out at Kew Gardens.

Planting Advice for Araucaria araucana

Our pot grown Monkey Puzzle trees can be planted at any time of the year. They are hardy trees but prefer a sheltered location. Clear weeds and grass within a metre of your chosen location and dig a square hole as deep as the root mass and approximately twice as wide. To help Monkey Puzzle tree establish, we recommend sprinkling root grow in the hole.

Remove the pot and gently loosen the roots, then place into the planting hole. Mix 50% of the original soil with 50% compost. Use this to fill in the hole and firm around gently, taking care not to bank soil up around the collar of the tree.

We advise planting young Monkey Puzzle trees with a stake and tie kit. To see how to use a tree stake and tie, watch our informational how to videos.

Aftercare Advice for Araucaria araucana

If you’re planting Monkey Puzzle in spring or summer, water well and regularly for the first few months. Keep an eye on young trees and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. We also stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.

Once planted, keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. Using a glyphosate based weed killer or installing mulch matting will aid in this. Do not simply mow the grass around the area as this will only encourage it to grow more vigorously.

Pruning Advice for Araucaria araucana

Monkey Puzzle trees do not require a lot of pruning. Simply remove any dead, diseased or awkwardly placed branches as and when you see them.

Delivery Timescales

All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team and most are delivered within a week of placing the order (please allow up to 12 working days during busy periods). There's no need to be in to receive your order and you can request where it is left via the checkout.

There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date.

Trees on pre-order are still growing and an estimate of when they will be ready is given on the basket page. Orders will be despatched when all trees are ready.

Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.

Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees.  For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.

Delivery Costs

1 small tree (most trees under 1.5 metres in height) : £7.95 + vat

1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat

2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat

1-4 trees delivered by pallet (inc. mature Japanese Maples): £19.95 + vat

The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.

Mature and pleached trees or orders too large for pallet: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode rather than quantity (starts from £48 + vat).

Northern Ireland and Non Mainland UK

Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.

The product table at the bottom of the page gives the forms and sizes available for this variety. Please note, photos are a guideline as all plants are unique. Below are definitions of terms:

Supplied Size: Height measured from the top of the pot.

Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.

Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.

Multi Stem: A multi stem tree has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.

Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.

Clump: Several plants in one pot that can give the appearance of a multi stemmed and very bushy tree.

Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.

Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branches of the crown). Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height:

Standard  either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard  10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard  12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height

Plant Specification Form Supplied Size Root typePrice Quantity Qty
Monkey Puzzle Form: Single Stem Tree Supplied Size: 60-90cm Root type: 7L pot Monkey Puzzle Price £54.99 (ex VAT)
Single Stem Tree 60-90cm 7L pot £54.99 (ex VAT)
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Total: £0.00 (VAT Free)
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