A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

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RogerBacardy
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A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by RogerBacardy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:18 am

I was doing a bit of planting this weekend & decided to move the 3ft Dicksonia antarctica stump that has not pushed out a crozier all year. I'm presuming it's dead, but am living in hope. I was moving it to replace with a basjoo, but intend to keep the Dicksonia antarctica and replant somewhere a bit more secluded.


When I went to excavate it I was expecting a big mass of roots as it had been planted in good quality soil and seemed pretty anchored down with good frond sizes the previous year. However, it rocked with only a little pushing and came out with a very small rootball.

So, it's now September, the Dicksonia antarctica has no croziers, the top of the stump is hard and there's very little in the way of roots. I guess this just confirms it's a gonner.


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kata
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by kata » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:24 am

Stick a plant on top Rog

:lol: :lol:
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Tom2006
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by Tom2006 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:44 am

The lack of roots won't be because its dead it just means it wasn't established before it died. If its not pushed out any croziers all year then I would say its sadly died. No harm in keeping it in a sheltered spot planted in the ground it might come back next year although unlikely.
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RogerBacardy
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by RogerBacardy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:58 am

I planted it summer 2009 & it pulled through the following winter okay.

Here it is June 2010:

Image


I think it was the very low temperatures in Dec 2010 that killed it, although I would be surprised if it didn't extend out many roots in the 18 or so months it had, which I why I was wondering if roots disintegrating could be another indicator of death.


But if what you're saying is correct then I guess the roots that established when it was alive would still be there after it dies.


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kata
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by kata » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:04 am

I understand your concerns Rog, it was beautiful.

:( :(
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Tom2006
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by Tom2006 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:38 am

Yes they would be evident. Mine, that died, and I dug up, all had their root balls. The root balls aren't that big really, although much larger than was once thought (in the days of sitting them in concrete etc) and had not reduced in size as I lifted them relatively quickly after death.

They can take quite some time to establish a root system though. My oldest potted tree fern had completely filled its VERY LARGE pot with roots to the point I had to smash the pot to get it out :? :roll:
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RogerBacardy
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by RogerBacardy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:52 am

Cool, thanks for the info.

I was probably thinking along the lines of Phoenix canariensis_CIDP roots, which had me expecting a big mass. What you say makes sense, so I guess this thread is now pointless, as a dearth of roots is no indicator of death!

Was my fault it died, I got cocky with the protection and only protected the very central crown. Here it is Dec 2010, probably just as the snow was killing it!

Image

Still, not all doom and gloom, it only cost me about £30 as I bought in a sale and I have already replaced it with a basjoo which will look great there.

I might buy another Dicksonia antarctica from Seagrave nurseries, they're still doing 25% off right now. Might just go for a 2footer to keep postage costs down to just £8.


Tom2006
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by Tom2006 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:12 am

Don't beat yourself up too much, many Dicksonia antarctica were lost last winter, even with loads of protection! I had mine wrapped in blankets, carpet, fleece, straw etc etc
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Re: A lack of Dicksonia antarctica roots indicating death?

Post by Nigel Fear » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:50 pm

I'd be inclined to hang on until next summer, and hope it's just taking a gap-year, though admittedly it doesn't sound too promising. I have a couple of very healthy looking treeferns that fully flushed this year, even remained evergreen from the previous winter, plus one that didn't at all, although there's a few knuckles lurking in there curled-up, I just hope it will wait now for another 6 months or so sitting out the winter,and adjusting to northern hemisphere time.


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