The Chilean Pines

Large Chilean Pine with Lanin in the background
Large Chilean Pine with Lanin in the background

The Chilean Pine (aka the Monkey Puzzle Tree) and officially Araucaria araucana is the Chilean national tree and is native to the high Andean regions of Chile and Argentina. It grows from about 1,000 metres upwards. I had never seen them before and to see dense stands of these trees, some of which are several metres in diameter and up to 1,000 years old was fabulous.

Even in death, the tree is rather remarkable as the trunk seems to rot faster than the branches, making the rotting trunks look like ancient dinosaur backbones lying on the ground.

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Ancient Chilean Pine with lichen
Ancient Chilean Pine with lichen

 

Chilean Pine by Lagune Huenfuica
Chilean Pine log by Laguna Huenfuica

 

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