Growing the Norfolk Island Pine

The Norfolk Island pine, Araucaria heterophylla (excelsa) is grown in large numbers as a pot plant (fig. 1) for indoor decoration, and is planted outdoors for lawn specimens (fig. 2), as cut Christmas trees, and as a timber crop. It grows best at altitudes under 1500 feet and with an average annual rainfall of 50 inches or more. Being tropical, its range is the southern hemisphere, coastal Florida, sheltered parts of California, possibly small sections of the warmer parts of Texas and Arizona, the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Norfolk Islands (its namesake) the Greater and Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, Singapore, New Guinea and Indonesia. At present seeds are produced in Hawaii, the Norfolk Island Territory, Canary Islands, Peru, and Brazil. Indications are that soon viable seeds may be produced from Florida and Puerto Rican sources. Norfolk Island pine is a windpollinated species and a lack of trade winds when the pollen is ripe results in few fertile seeds and a poor crop. The seed ripening period extends from July through September and about every fourth or fifth year the harvest is sparse. The seed cone consists of the stem or core and the scales or seeds (fig. 3) and measures 5 inches by 3 1/2 inches wide.


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Author(s): Blaine B. Logsdon

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volumes 24, Number 2 (1973)

Volume: 24

Number: 2

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