|Posted by plantladylin (Daytona Beach, Florida - Zone 9b) on Oct 14, 2011 5:14 PM
Araucaria heterophylla, Norfolk Island Pine is endemic to Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean. This tree can attain heights of 200' in its native habitat, but most of us are more familiar with the smaller versions sold as houseplants, especially around holiday time when they are often found for sale in local garden centers. The Norfolk Island Pine has an upright, pyramid growth habit with an occasional tilt or leaning appearance. This tree has a weak root system and may need staking as it grows taller.
Here in Florida in the southern part of the state, the Norfolk Island Pine is grown as a landscape tree, but it also does well in zone 9 central Florida, in warmer protected microclimates, especially near the water. Tall specimen trees are often damaged by the high winds of tropical storms and hurricanes, but they will recover if cut back to the ground, where new suckers will form.
I've had many of the small Norfolk Island Pine trees over the years. I would purchase a few during the holiday season and decorate them with miniature ornaments or tiny bows or small sea shells. My neighbor has a large Norfolk Island Pine Tree in her yard, one I gave her as a 4' tree years ago that is now taller than her house. The tree in my photo was one that was moved to a location behind the shed until I could find time to re-pot into a larger container. It was forgotten and eventually took root in the ground, and the plastic pot disintegrated.
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