Agent John in Fife

A few months ago I was contacted by John in Fife, who is a monkey puzzle fan and has been taking photographs of trees for a good few years. He looked at the Monkey Map and declared it a ‘desert’ in Fife, but assured me that he would be changing that! He told me there are a lot around Dundee, Fife and Angus. John said he was glad to see that we have catalogued the ones planted as a community project that he was involved in – in Balgay Park, DD10 and DD11. (There were three but sadly one died). These were found by our keen doglets Agents Edwin and Hubble!

John has collected a huge number of trees from Scotland, the Lake District and Lancashire. I’d already added some of his trees to the collection, but for his birthday John decided to sort out all his photos, and send them to my inbox. I was inundated! (He did very good naturedly say it was OK to tell him to stop, but I would never refuse a monkey puzzle tree!) So over the last few weeks John’s trees I have been adding over 100 trees to the catalogue. Good work indeed, welcome Agent John. So Scotland is now well and truly on the map and here is the overview of numbers of monkeys:

Scotland postcodes1

This post is a ‘part one’ of John’s finds. As DD is the largest collection, let’s start there. Already featured we have DD25 in Camperdown Park (more here featured later), then a very unusual planting of 16 trees at Logie near Montrose DD26 to DD41. DD42 in Fintry Terrace, Dundee, which Joyce told me about and John had photograph of it.

DD43 to DD53, an avenue of eleven trees just off Harefield Road, Dundee, which must be a leftover from what was there before, some sort of avenue to a grand house perhaps?

DD43 to DD53

DD43 to DD53

DD54, Dundee Road, West Ferry.

DD55, Baxter Park, Dundee.

DD56, Blackness Road, Dundee – a very fine tree indeed.



DD57, off the A92 in Invergowrie.

A further four at Camperdown Park. DD58, DD59, DD60, DD61, all lovely mature trees, but not surprising as the grounds were planted in the mid 19th century.



DD62, Coupar Angus Road, Muirhead.

DD63 and DD64 at Dryburgh Gardens near Harefield, in the gardens of what John describes as ‘multis’.

DD65, Fort Street, Dundee.

DD66, Maule Street, Monifieth.

DD67 to DD69, at Eastern Cemetery in Dundee. A lovely planting of three trees.

DD67, DD68 and DD69

DD67, DD68 and DD69

I love this photograph and the way these ‘gloomy gymnosperms’ (as Richard Fortey called them) loom over the gravestones. I’ve written before about the link between monkey puzzle trees and graveyards – here – and they do seem very well suited to this setting. John told me that this graveyard also appears on some older maps as Eastern Necropolis – a word used for a large ancient cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek literally meaning “city of the dead”.

 Entrance to Eastern Cemetery, Dundee

Entrance to Eastern Cemetery, Dundee

We’ll come back to graveyards, but the rest of John’s DD finds are as follows.

DD70, at Leoch.

DD71, at Ninewells Garage, Perth Road, Dundee.

DD72, Norwood Crescent, Dundee.

DD73, opposite Ninewells Garage.

DD74, Monifieth Road.

DD75, Grampian Gardens in Arbroath.

DD76, DD77 and DD78 in an obscure location in Guynd in Angus.

DD79 West Road, Newport on Tay – I love this photo:



DD80, also in Baxter Park, Dundee, with DD55.

Six trees at Dundee crematorium, DD81, DD82, DD83, DD84, DD85, DD86, sadly not all looking so well cared for. (Although interesting that monkey puzzle trees are also used in crematoria gardens, as well as cemeteries.)

And to finish our DD collection – for now – we return to Western Cemetery in Arbroath. I wrote about this last year, the post is here, when our two doglets in Arbroath (yes, really, these dogs are agents) found three trees in the cemetery. When I looked on Google, I found a further three trees, visible from the road.

DD Arbroath cem

John has sent me a selection of photographs of his finds there – and I can match some of his photos to the ones I have catalogued, but not all of them. There is at least one new tree. John’s photos are below – I have ‘matched’ DD2, DD6 and DD7. But are the six trees A to F new finds, or some of the first six? I think perhaps it needs a site visit… so for now I have catalogued the new juvenile tree as DD87.

DD2 cemetery John Young pics

So, that puts the DD catalogue at an impressive 87 trees. Thanks to John. I’ll be back with more of John’s finds soon.


This ‘Monkey Map’ project is a personal project and the work of me, Sarah Horton.
I am helped by my task of cataloguing all monkeys by keen monkey puzzle hunters who also do this in their free time.
It is a work of personal passion and brings me great joy. Thank you everyone for your support. 


3 thoughts on “Agent John in Fife

  1. Pingback: LA | Monkey Map

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