Monkey Puzzle

03rd February 2015
One of Castlemilk Parks most loved trees blew down on 12th March 2014. The monkey puzzle tree had stood by the stone bridge for over 150 years and to many local residents it formed part of their childhood memories. Helen the Baroness of Kilbride wrote in her book that the tree was one of two trees that were gifted to Castlemilk house in the 1860’s by her Uncle Crawfurd and that the tree were rather rare at that time.

Monkey puzzle tree in Castlemilk Park c1970's (Photo: Richard McInarlin)

This tree stood about 60 feet (18.28 meters) high, had a girth of 6 feet and 1 inch (1.8 metres) and when it fell it came down with a bang! Castlemilk Parks volunteer group spent the afternoon tidying up some of the damage a creating a habitat stack with the broken limbs. On closer inspection we noted a series of old metal brackets up the trunk. Rumour has it that these were put there by local children to help them climb the tree.

Fallen monkey puzzle tree (12th March 2014)

With so many people having fond memories of this tree we wanted to replace this fallen tree with another monkey puzzle, however monkey puzzle trees are rather expensive. To replace this tree with one of 150cm in height it was going to cost in excess of £300! Instead we spent a couple of quid on 15 monkey puzzle seeds. We planted the seeds with the How old are yew local history group and Primary 1 pupils from a nearby primary school. Today we have 3 very small monkey puzzle trees, once large enough one of these trees will be planted to replace the original.

Monkey puzzle seeds planted by Primary 1 school children

Interesting Monkey Puzzle fact: The tree possibly gained its name because it would be a real puzzle for monkeys to climb up its whorls of spiny leaves, but there are no monkeys in Chile!