Robin L. D. Rees

The story goes that, each time I was taken out in my push-chair from about the age of 18 months, I used to get very agitated each time we passed the local Roman Catholic church. My parents soon pinpointed the cause: not religious fervour, but rather the presence of a monkey-puzzle tree (araucaria araucana) in the churchyard.

They concluded that the best thing would be to get me my own tree for the garden, no doubt hoping that I would ‘grow out of it’ in private, and at an early age.

I think it fair to say that in this aspect of my upbringing they were less than wholly successful. See my ‘fitting monument’ at Oxford University, and draw your own conclusion....

Monkey-puzzle tree, October 2011
The monkey-puzzle tree in my front garden: October 2011
This tree was planted in 1987.

same tree in 2010
The same tree in December 2010
same tree in 2008
The same tree in 2008
same tree in 2006
The same tree in 2006
same tree in 2005
The same tree in 2005

Monkey-puzzle tree in front garden
The same tree in 2003

Monkey-puzzle tree in front garden
A fine specimen at Lyndhurst

monkey-puzzle avenue at Bicton
For the real enthusiast:
the avenue at Bicton (now Bicton College),
the original trees dating from c.1840

monkey-puzzle avenue at Bicton
A sideways view of the avenue at Bicton

My back garden
My back garden: February 2005
This tree, grown from seed at Bicton, was planted c. 1990.

Both monkey-puzzle trees
Both my trees, growing up
December 2008

Branch in frost, covered with spider’s web
Branch of my front-garden tree in frost, covered with spiders’ webs — and Christmas-tree lights: 2006

Other Araucaria Websites and Images

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© R. L. D. Rees 2005–12