Devil of a job for the Eden “sky monkey” gardeners
Gardening in the world’s biggest rainforest in captivity has its own unique challenges, as these pictures from the Eden Project in Cornwall illustrate dramatically.
Horticulturist Dave Paul abseiled beneath the 50-metre high roof of the Rainforest Biome with a chainsaw to trim one of its oldest and tallest trees, an Alstonia scholaris, also known as a Devil Tree.
The job was made even more hazardous as the seeds and roots from the tree also happen to be poisonous.
Sections from the trunk were cut down and gently lowered by rope to the ground to prevent any damage to other plants and trees.
The first trees were planted in the Rainforest Biome 14 years ago. The bigger specimens have to be regularly pollarded by Eden’s rope-trained gardeners - known as sky monkeys - to prevent trunks and branches penetrating the Biome roof.
The Devil Tree’s natural habitat is Australia. It can be used to make chewing gum, paper and medicine.