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Our Monkey Puzzle Tree about 28 years since we planted looked like in the green state photo last year. Now it looks like the rusty state in the next photo. Also the trunk near the base has the black discharge. Is it finished or will it revive? Is it contageous? We have leylandii and heathers in close proximity.

Dscn2791_cropped Dscf2907_diseased Dscf2908_diseased



I think it has got waterlogged and damaged roots, as the discoloration comes up from the bottom of the plant. I would try and improve the drainage and leave the tree as is, though the black discharge makes me think it is has rot. I would also clear space around the base of the tree to allow air into the soil and stop other plants competing with the Monkey Puzzle for nutrients.

A glimmer of hope is that the leading shoots at the top is still green, so it may improve as the weather does.

11 Feb, 2011


Looks very much like foot and butt rot, or canker. Keep an eye on it and remove it if it gets worse - because of where the rot is, you may find it falls over eventually.

11 Feb, 2011


It may also be cold damage. Cold air settling around the base of the trunk could kill the inner bark, causing the oozing, and the greater apparent damage in the lower parts of the tree. Monkey Puzzle is the most frost hardy Araucaria, but a winter like this last is enough to test its limits!

12 Feb, 2011


Thank you for your help!

1 Mar, 2011

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