Monkey Puzzle Trees, Y'all

Sep. 11, 2011 at 1:48pm

The Monkey Puzzle

After I moved to Tacoma -- about a year ago -- a friend asked me if the monkey puzzle tree was still to be found at the old Elks Temple.

I wasn't sure what this tree was. The venue, sure, it was an early Tacoma landmark for me: when I get off the light rail, and walk up the steps on my way home, that's it. But a monkey puzzle tree? I had no idea.

Have a century or so: first, there was no monkey puzzle tree; then somebody planted the thing, way too close to the building (we must assume/hope it was "garden tree" sized at the time); and then it just never stopped growing; and today you have one of Tacoma's great unused buildings, street art, steps up and down to (almost) nowhere, and a giant, unhelpful colossus of a tree, now an appropriate matter for the appropriate commission to rule on.

So: what the hell are these things? Who brought them here, and why? Are monkey puzzle nuts any good? Only one way to find out.

comments [6]  |  posted under monkey puzzle tree


by JesseHillFan on 9/12/2011 @ 2:28am

You don't want to plant them near where people walk or have park benches nearby as their cones can be so heavy that they have been known to knock out or injure people.
It's a perfect assault tree.

by Mofo from the Hood on 9/12/2011 @ 9:04am
Due to advances in computer gaming, monkey puzzles fell out of fashion and rendered this green and sustainable resource obsolete.

by The Jinxmedic on 9/12/2011 @ 10:50am
Monkey puzzles are racist.

by Mofo from the Hood on 9/12/2011 @ 11:00am
As early pre-man evolved and climbed down from the safety of the tree canopy, the type of entertainment he chose likewise changed to accomodate his insatiable evolving preferences. Witness the changing fraternal order and club scene evolving in the St. Helens District.

by Rick Jones on 9/12/2011 @ 11:39am
The monkey puzzle tree is just plain ugly. It is not a native plant and should have been cut down. I have a difficult time dealing with the continued (and commission -Land Preservation Commission?) authorized 'keep the tree,' when a beautiful, big elm at Tacoma and Sixth, was takenb down. I don't like this tree.

by NineInchNachos on 9/12/2011 @ 11:39am
the same way free peoples in the far east fire automatic rifles with abandon into the sky for celebration; so is the monkey puzzle raining down pinecones unto the earth. If you or your car is damaged by either, it is a blessing.