Garden

Araucaria-araucana


Question: how can I prune my araucaria?


I would like information on the pruning of the araucaria (Chilean pine) and possible cleaning from dry branches.

Araucaria-araucana: Answer: to prune the araucaria


Dear Dario,
in Italy only two species of araucaria are widespread in cultivation: araucaria araucana, also called Pino del ParanŠ°, a completely rustic species, originating from Chile; and araucaria heterophylla, a delicate species, native to Australia.
Both are conifers, and as is the case with most of this type of plants, they do not particularly love pruning, which quickly makes the trees clumsy and of bizarre shapes.
Even the araucarias do not need pruning, on the contrary, it has happened that specimens cimated to contain their development, are quickly wasted and deceased.
I therefore advise you to avoid pruning your araucaria, because you could do it much harm.
These are conifers, and therefore, as with the large pines, which lose their low branches as they age, even with the passing of the years the tendency to develop a high and compact crown, carried by a thin very tall trunk; therefore periodically it is good to remove low branches, but only after they are completely dried.
Generally when the tips, or even the sections of the tree, are ruined by the weather or by insects, the ruined part dries up and falls naturally; if you intend to force this normal development of the events, you can cut the branches, stopping, however, just before the ruined part ends. If you cut a branch up to the healthy side, the part near the cut will almost certainly dissect.
If you have a potted araucaria and you intend to contain it because you are growing it at home, and over the years it has become too large, remember that the araucaria cultivated in small containers tend not to grow above about two meters; then before pruning the plant, try to repot it in a slightly smaller container, possibly pruning part of the root system, so as to stop its growth in height.
These plants are very particular, and their appearance is very exotic; there are about twenty species of araucaria in the wild, and they all develop in the southern hemisphere, in southern America, in Australia and in New Zealand; in nature these are majestic trees, which can easily reach thirty meters in height.
Rustic species are resistant to Italian frost without problems, but they do not tolerate heat very well, in fact they are quite widespread in the mountainous and hilly areas of our peninsula, while in regions with hot summers we tend to place them in semi-shaded areas, sheltered from the summer heat.