Monkey’s despair

Ah, I hear you say, you are despairing of monkeys? Mais non! It is our first monkey in France. And in French the monkey puzzle tree is know as ‘Monkey’s Despair’ – thank you to Sophie Leguil for the translation.

FR1

FR1

This ‘French monkey’ has come to me from John Pederson, who was collecting seeds to grow his own tree – he tells me there were a few more in this area, so if you find yourself in Saint-Pol-de-Léon in Brittany, please do have a look. Thanks very much John, delighted to have our FR1 in the catalogue.

FR1 map

Recent additions to the catalogue, in alphabetical order:

AB6, thanks to Fiona Hendrie, her great grandparents planted this tree in Cathay Terrace in Cullen (postcode AB56). I’ve got this image from Google, but please send me your photograph too Fiona. Thanks.

AB6

AB6

CA7, another of John Young’s back catalogue which I have been working through, this is near Keswick. Something very attractive about monkey puzzle branches and dry stone walls in combination!

CA7

CA7

CH150, Noctorum Lane in Prenton from Agent Philip, diligent as ever. This one’s a bit cramped and rather straggly, but they all count! Good work Philip!

CH150

CH150

Update 25th November 2015 – this next tree is from a new contact Andrew Baxter in the Midlands – he is awaiting ‘Agent’ status. This is at Edge Hill House near Ratley. It was first catalogued as CV6, but this is in fact in ‘OX’ not ‘CV’, so has been re-catalogued as OX4.

CV6

OX4

I was very pleased to hear from Andrew as he tells me he’s been photographing monkey puzzle trees for ten years and has a friend who has been putting them on a map using OS LAT and LONG co-ordinates. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and for more of your finds of these ‘Dinosaur trees’ as your grandchildren call them. Good to hear you’ve got family and friends also looking out for them! And sure enough I heard from Andrew the next day with one from his collection.

CV6, Pillerton Priors, Warwickshire, also from Andrew.

CV7, Shipston on Stour, thanks Andrew.

CV7

CV7

DD88, a re-cataloging as there are four, not three trees in Easter Necropolis in Dundee, thanks to Agent John in Fife for diligent checking!

DD88

DD88

IV12, a very atmospheric photograph from the Isle of Skype – thanks to Guy Woodland.

IV12

IV12

TQ3, also from John Pederson who found FR1.

TQ3

TQ3

Also sent to me by Agent John in Fife is a photograph of a lovely avenue of trees at Woodstock House in Kilkenny. There’s a photo on their website of the avenue in 1920, they call it ‘The Monkey Puzzle Walk’, and the following notes:

It was observed by William Miller following a visit to Woodstock that the trees did not do very well at first, making little ‘new growth and got rusted, which was owing to the wet, ingenial nature of the soil and subsoil’. However when the new head gardener, Charles McDonald, arrived at Woodstock in 1860, he resolved to carry out extensive drainage operations and replant the trees, all of which was done 1861-2. The trees were planted ‘afresh on mounds, the plants ranging from four to fourteen feet when re-planted’.
(Irish Farmers Gazette, Dublin, Saturday, June 14th 1862).

IE KK1 to 30

IE KK1 to 30

We haven’t actually visited Woodstock House, so I’ve made an estimate of 30 trees here, so if you’ve been and have photos, I’d be happy to add them to the collection.

And, a seasonal finish, I noticed some lovely photos on Twitter of ‘illuminated monkeys’. At The Royal Botanics Edinburgh they have a Botanic Lights showing until 22 November, and at Westonbirt Arboretum they have an illuminated celebration of their trees from 27 November to 20 December – I’ve booked my ticket and can’t wait to see them. Here’s a taster:

illumination2

*

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. 

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