Araucaria cunninghamianii or ‘Hoop Pine’ is a tall upright tree that grows naturally from coastal Queensland to Northern New South Wales. The Hoop Pine is also found in New Guinea.
Being a versatile and forgiving species the Hoop Pine adapts well to wider climate range.
This is a large growing and long lived tree with specimens identified as over 300 years old reaching 50 – 60m in height.
Characterised by a straight rounded trunk, the common name of ‘Hoop Pine’ comes from the distinct growth rings the appear. The new bark on the trunk is an attractive crimson red, older bark fades to a grey colour.
These trees were widely used by early settlers for timber, and much of the older stands were harvested.
Being a large tree it requires a large garden or park to cope with its size. It does grow quickly when young, and then growth rate slows as it ages.
Hoop Pine Cones
Cones will appear as the plant matures, with both female and male cones appearing on the same tree, female cones after around 15 years, male cones after around 20years. Cones are small, green when new aging to brown.
How to Grow Araucaria cunninghamianii
In a well drained soil and a warm climate, Araucaria cunninghamianii is very low care once established.
You do need to choose a permanent position as these trees do take well to being transplanted.
- Dig soil over well before planting.
- Add some well rotted compost.
- Plant at the same depth as in the pot.
- Water in well.
- Water through the first two summers and any extended dry periods.
- Mulch around the plant regularly.
- Fertilise with a native plant fertiliser or blood and bone for the first 2 – 3 years.
The Hoop Pine will send down a long tap root, once established it requires no extra watering.
Removal of dead or damaged limbs is all that will be required.
The Hoop Pine is usually propagated from seed, young seedlings require regular watering. Propagation from cuttings is also possible.
- Botanical Name – Araucaria cunninghamianii
- Common Names – Hoop Pine, the aboriginal name is Kumbartcho, it is also known as Queensland pine, Dorrigo pine, Moreton Bay pine and Richmond River pine
- Position – Full Sun.
- Climate – Best in subtropical areas.
- Soil – Well drained, deep and fertile for good growth. Will tolerate dry soils once established.
- Height – To around 60 metres.
- Spread – To around 10 metres.
- Growth Rate – Fast when young, slowing as the tree ages.
- Flowers – Spikes (Male) or Cones (Female)
- Flowering Time – Winter to Spring and Summer.
- Foliage – Mid to deep green.
- Frost tolerant – Mild frosts only.
- Drought tolerant – Yes once established.