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By Mo1963

United Kingdom Gb

I planted a monkey puzzle tree in my front garden about 7 years ago and it has now grown to be about 9/10 feet. It is planted about 10 feet from front of house but about 6 foot from the water companies drain which is on my property. My husband is worried about the roots affecting our house and drain as the tree is growing so rapidly. Do we have to remove it or is it going to cause damage? Thank you



If the tree is 10 feet high then the roots are normally 10-20 foot in depth and 6-12 feet is spread by now in loam soil. If clay then normally smaller. They tend not to be a problem with subsidence though, unlike willow and the like.

They do get large...there is a Monkey Puzzle in the the park near my house that is easily 20-30ft high. So you have to ask yourself if you want such a tall tree in your garden? I do like them and they are pleasing to look at but might be a millstone in 10 years.

5 Nov, 2012


Thank you very much for replying with your answer. That has really helped me in deciding what to do next. I would like to keep it but I think we'd have to move it and I have heard they are not easily moved and kept alive. I am wondering if I can get someone who would like it to dig it up and relocate it to their premises. Thanks again

5 Nov, 2012


I think 7 years in the ground will mean that the root system is quite developed. Certainly sounds happy where it is with the growth you mention; as they tend to be quite slow growing at first. What you could do is take a pic then post it here and ask if people think it can be pruned. It depends on how it is growing - with a crown or not. Some Monkey Puzzles trees can look fine being pruned, but most will not look good TBH after pruning. Selling or offering it is a way of solving the problem!

5 Nov, 2012


Agree with everything Kildermorie says - it has to be said though that I've seen monkey puzzles growing in front gardens in London which are no more than 8 x 8 feet, the garden I mean, not the tree. People usually remove the lower branches as they get taller, though I'm not certain how wise a practice it is to keep such a large tree in such a small space.
Oddly enough, this is one evergreen which copes perfectly well with being coppiced - that, though, rather defeats the object of having one, which is its stately, shapely, evenly spaced and tiered, interesting leaf/branch formation. Perhaps they should best be viewed as a temporary inhabitant in smaller gardens.

5 Nov, 2012


Thank you so much Kildermorie and Bamboo for your advice. I am so sad to think I will have to remove the tree it is a beautiful specimen. I have seen how people have pruned the lower branches. It has plenty of room really to grow, I just wish I hadn't placed it in the middle of the front garden but towards the end, but I never thought it would grow so quick. I will take a picture and post on here. It is absolutely perfect, as you will see. It is always admired by people and I rarely give my house number to any visitors that haven't been to my house, I just say look for the Monkey Puzzle tree and you're there! Thanks again.

5 Nov, 2012

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