Monday, 7 September 2020
A Monkey Puzzle Tree
I found these for sale locally and thought it would be fun to see how much it would grow while I'm still around to see it! They were labelled as 2 year old trees, it cost me £3.50.
It brought back memories of visiting a Great Aunt (we were dragged around lots of Great Aunts - it was usually very boring) This Aunt lived in a bungalow along Nacton Road one of the main roads out of Ipswich and in the middle of the front lawn was a huge Monkey Puzzle tree.
Would I have remembered the Monkey Puzzle if I didn't have a very old photo to remind me? I don't know. There is one branch of the tree on the left hand photo and the right hand photo is me, (back right) my sister and two cousins standing outside the bungalow. - Wonder why we were all there together? 1968 it says in my album - so I was 13.
Monkey Puzzles are also called Chili Pine according to my tree book and introduced to Britain in 1795 after being brought to Europe from South America by the Spaniards in the C17. They were very popular with the Victorians
Apparently the trees rarely live longer than 100 years reaching a height of 80 feet.
The common name of Monkey Puzzle is usually said to be because with their sharp close-set leaves even a monkey finds them a puzzle to climb!