OT, Araucaria talk

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Wed, 02 Apr 2008 07:28:22 PDT
John Grimshaw responded privately to my April Fool’s Day post and wrote:
“but the cones of Araucaria araucana fall apart before falling! 
The cannonballs to avoid are from A. bidwillii.”

I guess it’s obvious that I do not live in Araucaria country. 

I based the comment in my post on an article I read years ago which reported
that old Araucaria in English gardens were being cut down. Two reasons were
given. One is that the old trees had live foliage only high up above bare
trunks and were thus scare-crow ugly. The other reason given was the
potential legal liability posed by the falling cones. 

This article was probably written ten or more years ago, and I really don’t
remember much more about it. But I do think the species mentioned was A.
imbricata (as A. araucana was widely called then). 

As I now know, John is of course right about the cones of this species
disintegrating before falling. So now I wonder: is A. bidwillii grown in the
UK in the open garden? Does it become large enough to fruit? 

Or perhaps the author of the article was an Aussie still learning his
English garden trees (as he remembered bad experiences back home)?

Thanks John. I've got some Araucaria araucana seeds in the 'fridge now, and
all of this Araucaria talk is prompting me to get them started.    

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/
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