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PlantFiles: Wollemi Pine, Wollemia
Wollemia nobilis

Family: Araucariaceae
Genus: Wollemia (wol-EM-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: nobilis (NO-bil-iss) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

25 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
4.5 or below (very acidic)
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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10 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jfstriegel On Feb 24, 2015, jfstriegel from Tofino, BC
Canada wrote:

TOFINO, BC, Canada - coastal temperate rainforest with 130" of rain/year and gentle winter frost, but no hard freezing. Obtained the plant as soon as they became available in North America, in 2007. Planted it outdoors the next spring, in 2008. In 2014, it grew through 8' tall and is thriving. Bought a second plant a year later and planted it out; location proved unsuitable and it died.
I'm proud to have a Wollemi Pine in my yard!

Negative c_etude On Apr 30, 2012, c_etude from Winter Haven, FL wrote:

Mine did very well for several years - then it got some kind of fungal disease and died. No matter what I did it died.

Negative NorthSC On Jan 13, 2012, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Wollemia nobilis sales are just short of a scam if not a scam. I bought two of those, one at a time, both died no matter how well I took care of them. One died in a pot, another died while growing in the ground. Both were much shorter than advertised and National Geographic tried to charge me twice for the same year's membership. They are expensive commercialised (trademarked!) fossils and they will all die and your money will be wasted on this scam. Buy plants that are going to live and don't attempt to revive the dinosaurs.

Positive victorengel On Mar 18, 2010, victorengel from Austin, TX wrote:

I ordered this plant last year. This past winter was a very cold one, with over 30 days below freezing. The low temperature at my location was 15 degrees. I had the Wollemi pine covered with a single layer of row cover but did not heat the space. The plant remains undamaged except for the very newest shoots, that included about 2 inches of growth on each of two shoots.

For comparison, the sago palms lost all their leaves but apparently are retaining their crowns. The Wollemi pine thus can tolerate cold better than a sago palm.

Positive OldNed On Jun 13, 2008, OldNed from Merritt Island, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Got my Wollemi Pine via UPS December, 2006 from National Geographic

The certificate enclosed said I got North America's #15. Don't know if that means I got the fifteenth pine or what. I've been a newsletter subscriber since the 1st issue years ago and I think we got an early ordering opportunity.

The story of its discovery ten years ago, its culturing and eventual world-wide distribution is fascinating.

It stood about 12-15 inches tall 1˝ years ago and is now nearly 3 feet tall. I planted it in the ground two weeks ago...seems to be doing well. It came very well packed...National G. got some sort of award for innovative/ecofriendly packaging.

Positive adriancapuzzi On Oct 13, 2007, adriancapuzzi from Melbourne
Australia wrote:

I have been following the story of the wollemi pine since its discovery so I had to own one, despite the fact the wollemi pine is enduring a bit of a fad in Australia at the moment.
I have decided to keep mine in a pot so it can come with me if we ever move. I've had it now for just over a year and it's thriving. It grew from about 30 to 50cm in this time and sprouted abundant, healthy foliage.
The plant is kept in my garden in full sun. I water it about twice a week in summer and once in winter. It seems to respond well to Australian native fertiliser once yearly, some charlie carp every couple of months and some blood and bone now and then.
Last winter a lot of the leaves went brown. Although leaves on this plant can 'surburn' when young I was advised at a nursery that browning can also be caused by lack of nurtrition. Another good dose of fertiliser seems to have remedied this problem.
Last spring, the main leader failed to break through the waxy 'polar cap' that forms on the end of each stem each winter. Another vertical leader sprouted near the top of the original, but after I gently removed the wax with a sharp knife the original leader took off again!
My wollemi takes pride of place in my garden and has fortunately proven to be very hardy.

Positive leeboi76 On Sep 19, 2007, leeboi76 from Sydney
Australia wrote:

I bought my Wollemi a few weeks ago at a garden show here in Sydney. For $45 I received a 2 ft tall tree in lovely condition. I repotted it in a good humous soil and decided to keep it in a pot to re use as our Christmas tree in the future. Also I think a little shade will do it good during the 110 degree days of summer.

Positive jhmeye On Jun 20, 2007, jhmeye from Marion, MS wrote:

I have had the pine planted in a container on my patio since December. It has just recently started putting out new growth, but appears to be very happy now in the Mississippi sun.

National Geographic is very proud of their trees (was over $100), but it arrived in good shape and well packaged.

Neutral Cretaceous On Apr 7, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

For anyone living in the San Francisco Bay Area wishing to see Wollemi Pines, the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley planted both of their trees late in 2007 (in the Australasian section of the garden). Both looked to be approximately 18 inches tall as of December.

Well, I think that it will be interesting to see how the cultivation and sale of Wollemia nobilis plays out...

Will it become the next "Cycas revoluta" at every big box store, or will those of us in the USA continue to have no choice but ordering them from National Geographic ? Personally, I would like to see the Wollemi Pine on par with Ginkgo biloba in terms of availability and price.

According to the Wollemi Pine North America Website "The Wollemi™ pine tree was scheduled for national release in the USA through garden centers in Spring 2007, but due to the high level of demand, the launch has been delayed until Summer 2008"....

After much procrastination (and I really do *not* like the fact that Wollemi was registered as a trademark here in the USA), I finally ordered a Wollemi Pine from the Wollemi™ Pine North America Website on 1/5/2008, and it arrived via UPS 2nd Day this week on 1/17.

From what I have read of the experiences of others, I must admit I was a little sceptical, but the tree that arrived was in good shape and looks perfectly healthy.

The tips of the folliage on the lower branches had been trimmed off. Presumably this was done for aesthetic reasons (I suspect that earlier on the tree may have developed a little damage in the tips of the foliage, maybe due to stress. To be honest, having slight damage on the earlier growth would not have bothered me). The more recent growth at the top of the plant looked lush, green and perfectly healthy.

It is 13 inches tall, and was shipped from a nursery in Parrish, Florida (according to the USDA nematode inspection certificate). The potting mixture looks to be sphagnum peat moss and perlite.

Positive Aussieboy On Jan 23, 2007, Aussieboy from Bonsall, CA wrote:

I probably have the one of the largest private collections of Wollemia nobilis with over 250 trees both in the USA and Australia.

I was able to obtain export permits from the Australian Government back in August and exported them to several countries.

There are no "exclusive" rights to this plant nor is it "patented" nor is there any restriction on propagation.

The plants being sold by a national magazine are generally of very poor quality and much smaller in size than the advertised size resulting in numerous complaints to NG, WNA and the Federal Trade Commission regarding false and misleading advertising and mail fraud.

The trees I imported to the USA were 20-24" tall and have grown to about 30-36" since August. They were all selected from premium nursery stock in Australia and were not "cut off" as the ones currently being sold here are.

All in all it will be worth waiting for some decent plant stock to be imported which will happen from Asia in a couple of years with the propagation programs going on there and the price will drop to a reasonable level.

BTW WNA trademarked the name "WOLLEMI" in the USA so as to try and stop people from selling the plants.

Positive timfoss445 On Dec 22, 2006, timfoss445 from Linden, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I was on the 4 month waiting list as well...After I received the first one, I went back to the site and ordered another which only took three days to get after ordering???They must have opened up the flood gates on these little guys...I know for a fact that National G has the exclusive contract only until the end of 2006. Hmmm do you think that has something to do with it?hehe
Has anyone tried to propagate? My leaders are both untouched and i dont plan on hacking those.

Neutral palmbob On Dec 21, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Got mine yesterday, too, from the same source, though ordered it about 4 months ago. Still, it looks healthy, and, like the one above, top has been cut off, too. Only 6" tall right now. Was expensive, but if survives, maybe worth it? Fingers crossed!!

Well, I lucked out and 5 years later mine is doing great, about as tall as I am. Not a super fast or slow grower. Nice little tree so far. Seems to be a good choice for California climate. But it is turning out to be a real challenge in more humid climates (like the eastern US) where it almost invariably dies of root rot. Guess this is one of the Mediterranean growers, not tropical species. Multiple specimens at Huntington gardens doing well at end of 2010 and about 8' tall. Even handled being moved well (were dug up at about 5' tall and all moved elsewhere in the gardern... as far as I am aware, all made the moved OK).

Nowadays (2012) these are being grown in large numbers by several local growers and the cost is WAY less... for the same amount I paid for my 6" plant, I can get on nearly 4' tall... oh well. Just in case mine does not make the move to my new home in the future, at least I know I can get a replacement.

Here is conversation on rot problems:

Neutral gooley On Dec 20, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These have been available in the U. S. A. for some months via the National Geographic Society, at a big markup. It's nearly $100 for the tree, and they charge hefty shipping and in many states a sales tax. I gave in and ordered one for spring delivery, and soon got an e-mail saying that they would ship soon. Yesterday mine arrived via UPS from another town in Florida (Parrish, south of Tampa, rather more to the south of me, from a nursery contracted to raise and ship them). Well-packaged but obviously used as a source for more material -- the leader has been chopped off to be rooted as another tree, and a strong new leader, a tad off-center, has replaced it; not exactly what I'd hope for in an expensive plant, but I don't plan to send it back if it lives and grows.

It looks like a bunya-bunya only with cycad-shaped leaves/needles/whatever. Obviously it is too soon for me to say how well it does in my zone 8b climate. I will have to watch the phosphate (a lot of it in the soil here, maybe too much; I hope that Wollemia is much less fussy about that than Protea and its relatives) and the drainage (none too good on my sand/clay mix with clay underneath).

Positive Mike_Lucas On Feb 4, 2006, Mike_Lucas from Melbourne
Australia wrote:

I received one of these magnificent specimens in March 2006.

It is unfortunate that some misguided individuals, (maybe they should be called eco-vandals), have tried to find the grove of trees in New South Wales, Australia, and have succeded in importing the fungul disease "phytophthora cinnamomi" (which causes dieback) into the area and threatened the whole plantation. Just as well some experts managed to propagate from those that were found.

Positive stevenova On Jul 22, 2003, stevenova from Newcastle
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

This remarkable coniferous tree was only discovery as recently as 1994 in a series of narrow, steep sided "rainforest" canyons 150 kilometers north west of the city of Sydney.

The discovery by David Noble, a park ranger of the Wollemi National Park in the Blue Mountains range only occurred because of his adventurous bush-walking/rock climbing abilities in the virtually inaccessible and remote canyon system. Luckily, he had a good knowlege of the plant types and quickly recognised this as something different and worth further investigation.

Returning with a small piece of the tree that he expected someone would be able to identify, it soon proved itself as a new un-classified plant specimen that further study would be needed to establish, especially it's relationship to other conifers. All that was first suspected by the scientists were that it had certain characteristics of the 200 million year old Araucariaceae family, but not quite the same as with any living genera.

Looking at fossil remains of this family of conifers and comparing later obtained specimens of the plant proved this to be the case and it was duly placed into the Araucariaceae somewhere between the still extant genera Agathis and Araucaria, having some characteristics of both, but also some of it's own.

A breeding programe is underway with the first commercial release of this plant worldwide in 2005. It should prove itself to be a valuable tree for ornament, either planted in open ground or for tubs and planters. It is also proving itself to be far more adaptable and cold hardy than it's restricted distribution would suggest.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bonsall, California
Reseda, California
Merritt Island, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Marion, Mississippi
Cleveland, Ohio
Hillsboro, Oregon
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lexington, Virginia

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