Monkeys of seven countries

X TallulahB decorated tree

So we’re nearly at the end of the ‘holiday season’ (cheers). I don’t have a location for the decorated tree pictured here, spotted by Agent Philip on Twitter, posted by @TallulahB, but reckoned if I don’t use it now it’s about another 360 days or so before I’ll be able to. So that’s the end of seasonal stuff.

First of all, Sophie Leguil who has been offered Agent status, is single-handedly getting the European catalogue well and truly established. Good work Sophie. Sophie has her own blog about ‘Natural wonders, from urban parks to lush rainforests’, Naturanaute, and you can find that here.

This is how this part of Europe is looking:

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 18.00.19

Thanks to Sophie we have open catalogues now in Belgium BEL, Germany DEU, Luxembourg LUX, and now the Netherlands NLD. Sophie’s latest finds are BEL38 on Boulevard Lambermont in Brussels:



Then BEL39, BEL40 and BEL41 which are all in the same road as BEL5, the Avenue du Forum in Brussels. She observed that they all seem to be of similar age, so must have been a trend of that time, or inspiration between neighbours!

BEL5 Ave du Forum map

In Germany there’s DEU1, DEU2 in Bonn, and DEU3 and DEU4 on the same road in Bonn, a ‘street full of conifers’, DEU5 in Cologne, DEU6 in Wuppertal in a park Hardtanlage (would appreciate a photo) and DEU7 in Duisburg. (Detailed locations on the Google map of course).

DEU map

And our first in the Netherlands, a fine pair NLD1 and NLD2 in Eindhoven.

NLD1 and NLD2

NLD1 and NLD2

So well done and thank you Sophie.

Don’t get many international finds outside of Europe, but I know there are trees to be discovered out there, so always pleased to receive them. Thanks to Colin Thornton, he sent me a tree in Southport and now one in New Zealand – he was hoping he might be the first to send from both hemispheres… but Agent Philip and Agent Baxter have already done that. This tree is NZ12 in Whangarei on North Island. (The photo shows two trees but Colin tells me the taller one has been felled since this photo was taken in January 2013). Thanks Colin.



Whilst I was in that neck of the woods – so to speak – on the Google map, I updated the trees in The Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. These are in the Cloud Dome (it is actually called the Cloud Forest, but Agent Millwall MPT tells me everyone calls it the Cloud Dome – really the amazing things you learn on Twitter!) Both Agent Millwall MPT and Agent John in Fife have visited here and I have photos from both of them – my estimate is that there are six monkey puzzle trees here? Agent John in Fife said, ‘Of all the things to do in Singapore I went hunting MPTs and ran out of time to see the real tropical rainforest – one of only two within a city. The other being Rio.’

I know Agent Philip wants to visit, so he’ll just have to make do for now with the photos!


Another international find, in the USA we have WA4 from rundesnettes, who responded to the Postcode Challenge, and I was able to find the tree on Google during  my ‘spare’ time in the holiday season. (A reminder if you are reading this and know of a tree for the catalogue – I really appreciate it if you can send me a photo or a link to a photo and map as it’s only ‘lil ol’ me doing all this work in my spare time, thanks!)



I’m sure the Pacific North West area has plenty more trees… so if you are in that region please consider keeping your eyes peeled, thank you!

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 14.34.33

Back to the UK.

CH, as usual Agent Philip and Agent Lindsey have been active. So we have and ‘end of the day’ monkey on Storeton Road, this is CH11 already in the catalogue, a lovely tree.



CH159 on Burrell Road – Agent Lindsey’s find.



Another of Lindsey’s find CH160 in the Dell at Port Sunlight.



Philip finds two trees in Raby Drive, CH158 and gets up close to CH161.



And a back garden monkey that doesn’t escape Agent Philip on Thorburn Road in New Ferry, CH162.



Good work Philip and Lindsey!

CF, am looking for some help in the Cardiff area. Whilst trying to find out about if ship’s captains did plant trees when returning home (see TR below), I came across a photo of a tree at Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff in this document (on page 18). The cemetery was opened in 1859 when it was designated both as a place of burial and “as space was limited in the Victorian era” as a pleasant environment in which to walk. Like many cemeteries the chapels are unused and one of them has been demolished. There is now an active Friends group who are looking to get the chapels refurbished. There is an old photo of the two chapels – found here – which shows two monkey puzzle trees in front of them, although the image on the website of the Friends they are not there. But there is possibly still the other large tree? I have a few other CF trees in cemeteries around Merthyr Tydfil (on the map below). So if you are in Cardiff can you explore Cathays Cemetery?

CF Cathays cemetery

GU, from Robbie Blackhall-Miles, who doesn’t dare walk past any monkey puzzle trees without sending them to me! Thank you Robbie. These are three at Wisley, GU3 to GU5.

GU3 to GU5

GU3 to GU5

The first GU tree in the catalogue is a mature tree at Wisley – GU1 – thanks to Matthew Pottage’s lovely collection of trees compiled as a young lad. And of course, we have an inside link to Wisley, as Matthew Pottage is now the curator there, and he has another two trees there to add, this is one of them GU6.



LL, a nice tree near Llansanan, L65 which ‘belongs’ to Josh Honeybourne’s grandparents, sent by Agent Philip. (Josh is now a gardener on the Wirral and responsible for planting monkey puzzle trees as part of his landscaping). And also more from Robbie, another group of three trees in Llanwrst. As you can see from the map the A470 valley is proving to be a good place for trees in LL. I’ve also found LL66 to LL68 on Google, in better weather conditions, they are a really fine set of mature trees.

LL65 to 68

M, good work from Agent John in Fife, who also covers other northern regions! This is M6 in a small public gardens that is tucked away behind one of the busiest roads in South Manchester, just next to Palatine Road. I lived round the corner from here and never knew about their existence. The small gardens were created in memory of Marie Louise, the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Silkenstadt. Marie Louise died in 1891, age 26, shortly after being married – Mrs Silkenstadt’s husband died a year later, and Marie Louise’s husband disappeared at sea in 1901 and was never found. Mrs Silkenstadt was broken-hearted. She bought the piece of land and the gardens were designed by Joshua Cartwright, initially with 72 different types of tree, including many species not seen before – including a monkey puzzle tree. They were opened in 1903. The gardens were cared for a by a resident park warden. The Friends group was create in 2008 to prevent the sale of the land for development. A full history can be found on the Friends of Marie Louise Gardens website – here. Also on their website are Barry Aelion’s collection of postcards from 1905 which show the delightful young tree, and so we can say this tree is around 115 years old (assuming it was about five years old when it was planted).


NW, another fine find from Robbie NW3 in London from his travels.



TR, a good addition to the Cornwall trees, we have this tree TR16, which was one of a pair, at Treen B&B. Sadly the second tree was felled as it was too close the house. They tell me they have heard that it was a tradition for ship’s captains to plant a tree when returning home… does anyone else know this story? Is this a Cornish tradition? And if so could this possibly account for the large number of trees in Cornwall, the PL catalogue is at 330 trees, although the TR catalogue is only at 16 trees so far – but perhaps this is the start of an increase. Thank you to Claire Batten for spotting this tree.



SO, and more from Robbie’s travels (although I suspect not the last), are a couple at the Hillier Garden near Ampfield.

SO12 and 13

So that’s the updates. In monkey related news, I was very sad to see the following image. The flooding in the UK recently is more than distressing. Although to an extent it is caused by our changing climate, it has not been helped by our governments repeated failures to manage our landscapes properly. This is dangerous for monkeys as it is for all of us. This was on the BBC news reporting from northern England, but I don’t have an exact location, let me know if you recognise it.

MPT flood

I hope you are keeping safe wherever you are, and let’s hope 2016 sees some real thinking behind climate change. Happy New Year.


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 “Monkeys of seven countries

  1. Hello Sarah,
    A nice lot of monkeys.
    The international list is well underway.
    There are 196 countries in the world.
    Will there be a ‘Countries’ challenge?
    I’m off to Australia in a few weeks time, so will look out for some on the east coast. If they can grow in Singapore, there should be some in Oz.

    Your last photo of the flood that captured the aquatic monkey, is what I call a ‘Googlewhack.’ That is, trying to spot a monkey on television. I’ve one so far, but sadly no chance of a record.




    • Ah… Australia. There are in fact a new planting of trees at the National Arboretum at Canberra, featured in this post –
      They should be on the international map. I hope you bring back some more from your trip!
      A friend in West Australia tells me you don’t see them there, but plenty in the East.
      Hard to know whether to do a Countries challenge – as many countries are not suitable for growing MPTs. I would love to see a map of MPT distribution – if one exists, but looks like we’re creating here anyway.

      Happy travels, Sarah

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