The dilemma

Yes, we’ve all seen it haven’t we? Monkey puzzle tree close to house. Ah.

SE31 Burnt Ash Hill Pauline Sinden e

SE31, Burnt Ash Hill.

This tree was planted just over 30 years ago by Pauline, in her front garden. She’s very fond of the tree. But what to do?

She says, ‘I hope it will withstand any gales. My concern about the roots is more for my neighbours than myself but I haven’t found any examples of the monkey puzzle being a specific problem. I would be loathe to cut it down! I would be pleased for you to pose the question and interested in any response it brings up.’

If you have any advice for Pauline please do reply here. Thanks.

So that’s the dilemma… meanwhile, I’ve been slowly working my way through my backlog of submissions. Thank you everyone for your finds, I won’t always get to cataloguing them immediately but you will always get my attention eventually. Here are some latest finds – if ‘your’ find isn’t featured and you’d like a shout out please let me know…

Nick Waddington has some additions to PL here. I particularly liked the lichen on the gravestones at the church of St Peter the Apostle in Treverbyn, PL338. And a find at Trenarren House, PL342. I had thought Agent Jim had pretty much covered PL, but there’s been a few new finds from Nick (and also mine in Heligan too, in this post.)

PL342 Trenarren House PL26 Nick Waddington


Agent Bach in Croydon is showing continued commitment to the role of Agent with finds in the neighbouring postcode area BR – here are BR13 and BR14.

Steve Pocock sent me a tree in the delightfully named Nonsuch Park, which I had never heard of – such is one of the joys of the Monkey Map. This public space is the last surviving part of the Little Park of Nonsuch, a deer hunting park established by Henry VIII surrounding the former Nonsuch Palace. The name “Nonesuch” was given as, it was claimed, there was “none such place like it” in Europe. Here’s Steve’s find – SM2.

Welcome to Paul Martin who is joining in from Scotland, and has sent me three trees from Aberdeen.

AB11 in Don Street in Old Aberdeen, AB12 in Cruickshank Botanic Gardens, and AB13 in Hayfield Place in Aberdeen City. He says, ‘I’m now looking everywhere for these trees.’  Thanks Paul.

Welcome also to Neil Cross in Clovenfords in the Scottish Borders. He sent me TD3 which is in his back yard, after 15 years it’s not very big but it is growing well now.

TD3 Clovenfords Neil Cross.JPG


Fiona Inches in Scotland always sends me lovely photos of the trees she finds. And this is a delightful tree in Gairloch, which is a very remote location.


And a lovely find here also from Fiona, which is a trio of trees in Cairneyhill. I imagined the owners of this garden having a very fine pair of trees, and then deciding to plant a third, which makes for a very nice photo.

KY48 to 50 Fiona Inches

KY48 to KY50

Nearby at Cairneyhill Manse Fiona also spotted this tree, KY51. Fiona is now choosing her Agent title. Good work!

KY51 Cairneyhill Manse Fiona Inches.jpg


Agent Naturanaunte reporting in from Sutton and Malden, thanks for your enthusiastic support for the Monkey Map!

Agent Hoey in Leeds is another regular contributor – this might be a small tree, but they all count!

LS112 Pollard Lane LS13 1EA A Hoey


QtheOwl on Twitter sent this tree from Whitaker Park in Rawtenstall.

I was very pleased to be featured as part of the Tree Council’s ‘tree of the month’ during April. And also pleased that Pauline Buchanan Black of The Tree Council has even got the ‘monkey spotting’ bug herself and sent in three trees from SY… the first one looks like it’s eating the telegraph cable! Thanks Pauline.

And Wayne Gonsalves has become a regular contributor, and here’s SL4 in Taplow.

Also in SL, we have this from The Street Tree, SL5 in Windsor Great Park.

SL5 near Virginia Water Windsor Great Park The Street Tree


Nice to have a couple of finds in my postcode patch too – Agent Jane sent in L136 in Aughton and Ronnie on his travels found a little one in a pot L137 in Vauxhall.

And, thanks to Agent Cinephile for hooking me up to Stuart Williams on Twitter and this tree in Mount Dandenong Arboretum in Victoria, catalogued as AUS162.

Finds in Australia are still fairly sparse… the catalogue was started with 160 juvenile trees planted at the National Arboretum in Canberra, then a tree in Wombat Hill Botanic Garden – also in Victoria, so I’m sure plenty more trees to be found there.

AUS map.png

And the good news is that my ‘to do’ folder is now emptied out and all finds catalogued… but the bad news is that a certain very determined Agent, Agent John in Fife, sends me so many monkey puzzle trees that I have a separate folder for his finds, which is bulging! I will be getting to those next. Phew.

Good work everyone. 3,526 monkey puzzle trees on the map and counting…

So if you’ve found a monkey puzzle tree, please do send it in to add to the catalogue, I now prefer to receive them through the submissions form which you can find here. Thank you.


One thought on “The dilemma

  1. Thanks to @LondonArborist on Twitter for the following advice regarding the tree too close to the house:

    Normally we would prune the tree to halt root growth, but Araucaria araucana do not take a prune well. Maybe root pruning!
    Wrong tree wrong place ultimately, Araucaria araucana do not take a prune well to limit growth, restrict growth somehow?

    Link to London Tree Surgeons here –

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