How to start off a 7-footer?

Kristen
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How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Kristen » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:42 pm

I've bought a couple of 7-footers.

Thought about putting them in the bath to give them a good soak, but expect I would be ejected! Perhaps I should rig up a plastic sheet in the shape of a trough??

Planning to plant them a foot deep, strapped to a strong stake for a year or two. But open to suggestions.

Should I pot them, in the conservatory, until planting out in a month or two, so roots can start forming at the base? or is wetting them enough, until they are planted out?
K's Garden blog last update 30th December 2012, HTUK Blog


Kristen
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Kristen » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:44 pm

Forgot the photo, sorry.
IMG_5326_TreeFerns.jpg
K's Garden blog last update 30th December 2012, HTUK Blog


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karl66
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by karl66 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:56 pm

Kristen, my advise is to dig a smallish planting hole to keep them stable, put together a good moist growing medium & plant them!!, completly soak the trunk's but dont go mad with water down the crown & this time of year just a little fleece ball in crown on frost night's. I have ones that have been planted this time of year & seen a winter with no adverse effects. At present they have no external root's so it wont make any difference. Karl.


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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Steady » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:05 pm

Before my 5 and six footers were delivered recently I was contemplating putting them in my greenhouse in pot with soil until spring, on receiving them found the my thoughts soon changed! They were dropped in my garage by the driver and I couldn't believe the amount of dirt dust and fibres everywhere that came with them and not to mention the weight. I decided to plant them out as the added weight after soaking them with the hose plus a heavy pot was going to make moving them very difficult, sure 7 footers would be heavy undertaking. The people at seagraves recommend planting them out but just protecting the crowns from any frost, fingers crossed I suppose! Can't imagine the putting mine in the bath!!!!


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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Tom2006 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:22 pm

Nice Dicksonia antarctica!! icon_thumleft I would sit them both in large buckets of rain water for a couple of days in a shady spot and wrap the crowns very well if 0C or below are forecast. After a few days they should be good to sink to the depth you want. I prepare the hole first by digging it over and then I mix a combination of small bark chips, a good multipurpose compost and a few hand fulls of ericaceous compost and a few hand fulls of perlite. Dig some of this into the hole and then place the trunk in and back fill with the mix. Give the entire trunk a really good soak and also the base of the trunk and then leave for the fronds to appear once things warm up. Natural rain water would keep them going until spring but if the current forecast dry spell last longer than two weeks then a litre into the crown once a week is all that is required. Once they start to grow they will need to be soaked virtually every day, unless we get another monsoon year. I spray the trunks first and then water the crown, this allows the water just to overflow down the trunk to the base. I feed mine once a month with half strength organic seaweed.

I found that last year my Dicksonia antarctica near to my pond (despite being in direct sunlight virtually all day) grew the strongest, so can only conclude they do better in a higher humidity. I therefore plan to put a couple more of mine around my pond this year.
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:01 pm

I differ from the others so far, in that I put myself in the place of the Dicksonia antarctica.

"There I was growing away happily in mid summer when some Bar-steward came along and lopped all my fronds off :ahhh!: , Then worse came as the bar-steward lopped me down :ahhh!: :ahhh!: Frondless, and rootless I've been bunged in a container and shipped to the Arctic :ahhh!: :ahhh!: :ahhh!: I am not happy, and now everyone is saying leave me out, where they would not leave a dog :ahhh!: :ahhh!: :ahhh!: :ahhh!:

All I want is some TLC icon_thumright
"

If you are going to plant now I would wrap the trunks with fleece as the Russian Bear (Beast from the East) looks like it is back for a week or two icon_thumbdown
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Tom2006 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:20 pm

I must admit as of Wednesday this week its set to turn much colder so probably best to soak until Tuesday in a garage or shed or even a cool room in your house until it passes.
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by countrylover » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:31 pm

How to start off a 7-footer??
Wrap it in some fleece, call DHL, load it, start off the truck and give the driver my address??? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Still looking for a huge Pseudopanax crassifolius...


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pdid
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by pdid » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:54 pm

Wheelie bins, they're the future :lol:

In all seriousness I would try and keep them in the conservatory if you can. I appreciate the logistics are fairly difficult and watering is a pain but my two small ones have already started moving.


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kata
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by kata » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:06 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: At Dave... :lol: :lol:
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Rain...nowt but rain...Welcome to Lancashire............ :lol: :lol: :lol:


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fern Rob
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by fern Rob » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:34 pm

I would go about it in a completely different way. I would plant them out after wednesday and burry a couple of inch of the trunk, I would get some extra large tree stakes and ties to hold them up so they don't fall over. I would water them when the weather looks clear for a few days and run water in to the crowns for an hour as well as watering the trunk. A little fleece on frost nights on the crown to protect the new croziers would be good.
I would then pile up a steep bank of compost up to a foot on the trunk and wrap the compost in fleece, you will get root growth going down the trunk and compost without loosing any trunk hight, doing this will also make the base wider as the roots become more compact.
I know that in the Otway range in Victoria the trunks come alive with roots in winter so rooting happens when the plant slows down.
Give them plenty of water and sea weed feed for the first year then one weak feed of high nitrogen from spring to the end of summer with plenty of water in-between after the first year.
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Tom2006
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Tom2006 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:40 pm

Forecast this evening shows a cold period of weather possibly lasting until early March so however you plant I wouldn't until that cold spell has past.
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fern Rob
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by fern Rob » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:42 pm

My new 5ft Dicksonia antarctica is out and planted, they get bad weather in Aus as well :lol:
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Dave Brown
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:21 pm

fern Rob wrote:My new 5ft Dicksonia antarctica is out and planted, they get bad weather in Aus as well :lol:
Not in their summer they don't
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Re: How to start off a 7-footer?

Post by greendragon » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:32 pm

Put them in the conservatory in a pot if you can, plant out in mid may once it's warmed up outside or othwise the tree fern will do nothing for the next 3 months. 25*c is their ideal growing temperature, which should tell you that planting them out now would be pointless.

You will need to put them in a pot as otherwise the water will go everywhere :o


Fernrob these are subtropicals, in Australia 1*c-2*c overnight would be a freak event for dicksonia antarctica not a nightly occurrence, I got a Dicksonia antarctica in April last year and it didn't do anything until the start of June..
2012 Highest Temp - May 24th: 27*C / 25th July: 28*c
2012 Lowest Temp - Febuary 3rd: -6*C
2013 Highest Temp - 13th July: 30*c
2013 Lowest Temp - 13th March -4.5*c.


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