Portland’s Monkey Puzzle Tree

Monkey Puzzle Tree; Portland, Oregon (SwittersB)

“With its prehistoric look and beautiful shape it often draws both awed curiosity and admiration. Seeds arrived in Portland with a Chilean delegate in 1904 when the young city hosted a world’s fair, the Lewis and Clark Exposition. Fair goers received seeds as a gift from Chile and planted them with great success in yards around town where they can be seen growing today. The common name of the tree reportedly came from an Englishman visiting Chile who commented that it would be a puzzle for a monkey to climb the tree.” (more at Tyber Katz)

I have been gazing out the window of a care facility. My aunt is in hospice and I have been spending a great deal of time sitting beside her looking out the window. I recognized this smaller version of a ‘Monkey Tree’ as I have lived many years in Portland and one can see these 106 year old trees in the older part of town. The one outside the window, is perhaps only 20′ tall compared to the inner city trees which are considerably taller. They are not that common compared to the many other trees in Portland, so unique enough to attract a knowing eye.

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