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Monkey Puzzle

Isle of Wight, United Kingdom Gb

Can and how do you prune a Monkey Puzzle tree. We have one and we would like to keep it a nice shape and not have large branches sticking out of the bottom of the trunk?



I can see why you are asking Andrea. Nobody has the same idea. My sister has one about 30 feet and they have never pruned it so I spent a happy half hour or so on Google when I saw your question, which I am sure you are quite able to do yourself.

The only thing that everybody seems agreed on is that you don't cut out the growing tip. If you hadn't wanted a tree that eventually will be 70 feet you shouldn't have got an Auracaria. Lol. But clearly you don't want to do that. So the answer is - some people say, apart from cutting out dead wood, don't prune. Others say, pruning is good for it and encourages more 'complex' growth. So you pays your money and takes your choice. Personally, if the branches were annoying me, I would cut them off. You could get a tree surgeon to do it and then sue him if it goes wrong. Lol.


21 Feb, 2009


I agree with John, if you want the space underneath, cut off the branches hard against the trunk one at a time, watch out for bleeding.

21 Feb, 2009


Hi Andrea, there is no real successful way to keep a Monkey puzzle under control without severely disfiguring the plant. Totally unsuitable tree for suburban gardens, you would have an easier time controlling a leylandii :0)

21 Feb, 2009


Thanks for the comments............................I only asked because you see Monkey Puzzles in gardens, some are beautifully symmetric and some are really sprawly and I wondered if there was a special technique you used to ensure the tree grew more 'beautifully'. Not planning to sue anyone or plant any leylandii!!!

22 Feb, 2009


i mite be wrong but dont monkey puzzles lose there lower branches naturaly as they mature ?

22 Feb, 2009


Hi NP, I really don't know whether they shed their lower branches or not, I don't know that much about them. I actually bought the tree from Holkham which isn't that far from you is it? They are pretty beautiful and I do have room for one in my garden which is good because I bought the tree about 5 years ago and have had to repot it once, which I wouldn't wish on anyone!! I got my teenage daughter to do it as she had been giving me grief lol

22 Feb, 2009


it is one of the oldest forms of life onthe planet.way before dinsaurs insects etc.

22 Feb, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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