Archive for November, 2011

The next stage – the sprout

At this stage the established seeds shall be left planted and undisturbed. Shortly the roots will start growing lateral “branches”. Disturbing the root at this stage could cause the plant to die. For more (general) details on the initial development stages of a seed see this link.

The following pictures show the planted seed as it continues developing. In this post I’ll show some picuters as the first signs of what will become the monkey puzzle tree emerge. I am not sure it the right term is hypocotyl, but will assume this is the correct term for now. The first image shows the prout clearly splitting up into two bits. These are still connected to the seed in one end, and onto the rood on the other.

The sprout is splitting up

The next images shows how the plant develops under normal growth:

The sprount is splitting

A closeup of same.

And a final picture.

In the next post we shall follow this in more detail. Who said watching paint dry was boring??

(This blog is now published on Google)

Root 2.0

Ok, so the seed has finally germinated and the root is growing. What then? As I have mentioned earlier the root can easily be damaged. However in the name of science I have exposed the roots in order to display them here. This is best done by using a pointy object to loosen up the soil around the root. As long as it is still relatively young (and the root has not branched out) it is possible to pull the whole thing up to have a closer look:

14 days old


For sake of comparison of scale I have brought back the good old match stick. As you can see the top part is turning green. It is also slightly thinker just beneath the seed. This is what will become the base of the trunk – in due course.

The next example is another seed, approximately 14 days after initial signs of germination. You will see it has also started turning green but the root is shorter than in the previous example.

Another seed, approximately 14 days old


Signs of a root

A few days after the initial signs of germination, the root should be forming. The next couple of pictures shows what you can expect to see during this phase. The Araucaria Araucana root is extremely sensitive, and there is a risk that the plant will suffer as a result of exposure to the open. However in the name of documenting the life of these seeds I will take my chances.

The root is developing

Here is another example of a healthy looking root:

Another early root

Close up - only a few days old


As you will see the colour of the root is still predominantly white. Very shortly this will change, and the foundation for the trunk of the tree will soon emerge. The next blog entry will look at how the seeds develop after another two weeks of growth.


After a few days in soil a healthy seed will germinate. Below are examples of what this looks like.

The first phonto shows the first visible sign of germination. The white tab is the beginning of what will become the root.

Germination - day 1

The next image shows a close-up of the same seed:

Close-up of first day of Germination

A day later it may look like this:

Germination - Day 2

And after yet another day like this:

Germination - Day 3

Germination - Day 3

As you can see, once germination has started growth is fast. Even at this point you may want to re-plant the seed in a bigger pot. If you lift the seeds up from the soil to look at the root, do so with care. The roots are sensitive and may be destroyed by much movement or exposure.

Give it a few more days and the roots will develop further. More pictures from this in the next blog entry.

In the beginning – seeds

This entry marks the beginning of a journey towards growing the perfect Monkey Puzzle Tree.

Over time I will blog about developments in the lives of these most fascinating trees.

This first entry focuses on the seeds. Seeds become available in the autumn and the ones depicted here were found in Bergen, Norway in October 2011, on the west side of the city centre. The trees themselvels are propbably over 100 years old and thrive in the wet and windy Atlantic climate.

Newly acquired seeds

A very helpful website providing useful information for how to succeed germinating the seeds is found at a blog called “Cherish our Earth” and can be accessed here. Based on advice found here the seeds are put in water for two days. Some float and some sink, the idea being that the ones sinking are the healthy ones with the greatest chance of surviving.

The water test

Immediately thereafter seeds are put in trays of moist soil. Plant the seeds with the pointy end of the seed down. You can plant the whole seed with the shell, or you can remove the outser shell and expose the seed. I find that both methods work fine.

The seed tray

Araucaria Araucana – The Monkey Puzzle Tree

A blog that follows the development of the Araucaria Araucana – The Monkey Puzzle Tree (Norwegian: Apenes skrekk, French: d├ęsespoir des singes), from seed to tree.