The Monkey Puzzle Walk


It was observed by William Miller following a visit to Woodstock that the trees did not do very well at first, making little ‘new growth and got rusted , which was owing to the wet, ingenial nature of the soil and subsoil’. However when the new head gardener, Charles McDonald, arrived at Woodstock in 1860, he resolved to carry out extensive drainage operations and replant the trees, all of which was done 1861-2. The trees were planted ‘afresh on mounds, the plants ranging from four to fourteen feet when re-planted’ (Irish Farmers Gazette, Dublin, Saturday, June 14th 1862).

"The Monkey Puzzle Walk" circa 1920

“The Monkey Puzzle Walk” circa 1920

Following this replanting the trees thrived to the present day.

The majority are in good condition having had extensive tree works to remove ivy and deadwood etc. A number of dead trees were removed, their deaths caused by blocked drains, and 22 no. trees were replanted. Several of the trees are seed bearing, so seeds are being collected and grown on for a future plant supply. These trees are particularly valuable, as they are threatened in their native habitat. They are listed in the red list of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) . Read more at