Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

User avatar
Delboy
Posts: 1738
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: worcester

Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Delboy » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:21 pm

I was reading a thread the other day online (not on here) where someone said there Dicksonia antarctica had got the dreaded orange goo from sweating too much due to being over protected throughout the winter.

Mine has had its fronds bent down over its 3' trunk & tied.
The crown and all over the top has been crammed with straw.
It then has 2 fleece bags pulled over the top covering the entire Dicksonia antarctica. I also put some straw up the sides inside the fleece bag but not very much.

Then i placed my compost bin over the top (open top & bottom) and put some straw down between the trunk and the bin.The compost bin is sat on a layer of straw.

Then i have put a tarpaulin over the top to keep the straw dry, but it has canes underneath it to raise it just a few inches above the Dicksonia antarctica.

Do you think the compost bin & tarpaulin are good ideas, or could they make it sweat too much?
If its better for the Dicksonia antarctica i could remove the compost bin and put much more straw up inside the fleece bag so the trunk is protected more.

We have our first frost predicted tonight :evil:
My old garden
http://www.hardytropicals.co.uk/forum/v ... en+project

New garden......coming soon.


Tom2006
Posts: 8091
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:23 am
Location: East Yorkshire UK

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Tom2006 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:52 pm

I personally would say yes you can over protect any plant. Plants need to have air circulating around them so you should only protect if absolutely necessary. The problem after the last two winters is that us Tree fern owners have had our beloved Dicksonia antarctica's hammered or killed so we are all rightly preparing for the worst.

At the moment there is absolutely no weather forecast in the next two weeks (at the moment) that would indicate any damaging weather for Dicksonia antarctica, not even the fronds. Therefore, I personally, would advise removing all the protection until such a time it is needed as the longer it is left uncovered the more time in "normal" conditions and the less chance of it drying out or catching a fungal/mould problem.

We have some VERY knowledgeable people on the site that will be the first to warn on impending cold weather and you can then wrap up and after last winters spell and would strongly advise you wrap as you have IF another very cold spell of weather is coming. I would even recommend putting a hot water bottle or two under the wrapping on a night to try and keep it from freezing, but I'm talking sub -6C temperatures and freezing or below daytime temperatures like last winter.
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.


User avatar
Delboy
Posts: 1738
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: worcester

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Delboy » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:54 pm

I work continental 12 hr shifts, so i have good and bad weeks.
If we get a bad frost and im on a bad work week i dont get much time to do stuff. I have had a week off, so thought i would get prepared. Now im thinking i should do what you say and unwrap.

There is a frost predicted tonight, but i have no idea how low it is supposed to get.

This is my first year as a gardener, i jumped in at the deep end with exotics so im probably being over protective.

My uncle lost his 18' 15 yr old cordy to last winter, the plant that made my love palms etc.

Hopefully we will have a average (or better) winter.

Thanks for your input icon_thumleft
My old garden
http://www.hardytropicals.co.uk/forum/v ... en+project

New garden......coming soon.


Tom2006
Posts: 8091
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:23 am
Location: East Yorkshire UK

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Tom2006 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:09 pm

Delboy, I work long shifts as well so I understand how tough it can be. I nearly got pneumonia last December trying to protect mine in December, but sadly it was too little too late for all but two of mine. That said, they ALL survived the previous winter which was overall worse. Last winter just had ridiculously cold temperatures day and night for quite a few weeks for most hence all the deaths. Most winters the overnight lows rebound into the +C during the day and therefore plants don't tend to freeze right through. Last winter they froze solid because it stayed at or below freezing in many areas for so long.

In summary, some people protect very well from now until Spring and some have reported healthy happy tree ferns come spring. But Dicksonia antarctica's can tolerate temps to -5c without any issues at all UNLESS its continuous. I would advise unwrapping them tomorrow and leaving until the cold is (if it is) on its way and then go for it. The cold spell like last year took about a week to get established so you would have time to wrap. icon_thumleft
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.


User avatar
Delboy
Posts: 1738
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: worcester

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Delboy » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:28 pm

Cheers Tom, i think the thought of the temp dropping into the minus makes me panic thinking dead tree fern!

So tomorrow i will unwrap it until it gets colder, but probably still put some fleece in the crown overnight.
I will keep a closer eye on the weather. Until this year i have never followed temps, i just knew last year was bloody freezing as my car temp was reading as low as -17.

Scrapping the car windows at 7am after a 12 hr night shift is not much fun, then getting home and having to dig out the drive to park the car was a real ball ache.
So having to sort out plants too would just about finish me off i think lol. Last year i thought my hands were gonna drop off i was so cold, i don't want those type of winters on a regular basis.
My old garden
http://www.hardytropicals.co.uk/forum/v ... en+project

New garden......coming soon.


Tom2006
Posts: 8091
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:23 am
Location: East Yorkshire UK

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Tom2006 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:19 pm

Delboy wrote:Cheers Tom, i think the thought of the temp dropping into the minus makes me panic thinking dead tree fern!

So tomorrow i will unwrap it until it gets colder, but probably still put some fleece in the crown overnight.
I will keep a closer eye on the weather. Until this year i have never followed temps, i just knew last year was bloody freezing as my car temp was reading as low as -17.

Scrapping the car windows at 7am after a 12 hr night shift is not much fun, then getting home and having to dig out the drive to park the car was a real ball ache.
So having to sort out plants too would just about finish me off i think lol. Last year i thought my hands were gonna drop off i was so cold, i don't want those type of winters on a regular basis.
Best plan for now mate! Until the last two winters I NEVER protected any of mine, without any problem at all. In a normal winter just some straw and fleece in the crown on a cold night is just fine. Just keep an eye on here for early warnings of cold. icon_thumleft
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.


User avatar
sanatic1234
Posts: 7291
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:04 pm
Location: east midlands/Lincolnshire
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:16 am

One night of frost won't do a Dicksonia antarctica any harm will it?
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

http://s1006.photobucket.com/home/sanat ... entuploads


Tom2006
Posts: 8091
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:23 am
Location: East Yorkshire UK

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Tom2006 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:21 am

No it will be fine
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.


User avatar
sanatic1234
Posts: 7291
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:04 pm
Location: east midlands/Lincolnshire
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:37 am

nice one tom, I think i may of been caught out tonight, i didn't know there was a good chance of frost forecast tonight for me and also the south of the UK. :roll: only heard that the past half hour.
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

http://s1006.photobucket.com/home/sanat ... entuploads


User avatar
Nick
Posts: 5446
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:33 pm
Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire.
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Nick » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:32 am

Yes we had frost last night it went down to -0.4 so not as cold as it could have gone, I just pack the crown with straw for protection, but was caught out badly last by the sudden onset of the bad weather, but normally if it's a normal winter I don't even use straw, but still to early to say what this winter will bring, so I had better go and put some into it today.

icon_sunny icon_sunny
icon_sunny SUNSHINE NICK icon_sunny
My Webshots Gallery


User avatar
sanatic1234
Posts: 7291
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:04 pm
Location: east midlands/Lincolnshire
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:49 am

I think i finally did get my first frost last night nick, the grass certainly did not look like it was due anyway, 2c was the lowest for Boston. I will see later on today or tomorrow if my canna's are blackened and my dahlia's. :( I will be protecting my Dicksonia antarctica tonight. although for the next few days things will be getting a bit rough weather wise so frost will be very low i think. A lot of strong wind, and heavy rain is making its way over to us.
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

http://s1006.photobucket.com/home/sanat ... entuploads


User avatar
Nick
Posts: 5446
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:33 pm
Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire.
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Nick » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:56 am

Here the frost was on roofs garden furniture bins but like yours the grass looked more due than frost, crown of my big Dicksonia antarctica now packed with straw and pushed in firmly to stop it blowing away in strong winds, I also poked it through the frond stems to help keep it in where it's meant to be :lol: it's down to nature now icon_scratch

icon_sunny icon_sunny
icon_sunny SUNSHINE NICK icon_sunny
My Webshots Gallery


User avatar
sanatic1234
Posts: 7291
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:04 pm
Location: east midlands/Lincolnshire
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:06 am

I shall nip out and do mine in a short while before it starts getting dark again. :lol:
I am only using fleece but putting big balls of it inside the crown, then i am wrapping the outside of the crown also with about 2-3 layers i may even put more on outside a well. Do you take yours off during mild spells nick? i have only wrapped mine once so far and then removed it the next day.
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

http://s1006.photobucket.com/home/sanat ... entuploads


User avatar
Nick
Posts: 5446
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:33 pm
Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire.
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by Nick » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:38 am

Hi the straw will now stay in place until the risk of very cold weather has passed, but I am only using straw and nothing else, the temp here is now only 6.2c :(


icon_sunny icon_sunny
icon_sunny SUNSHINE NICK icon_sunny
My Webshots Gallery


User avatar
sanatic1234
Posts: 7291
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:04 pm
Location: east midlands/Lincolnshire
Contact:

Re: Can over protecting a Dicksonia antarctica make it rot?

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:03 am

yeah my daytime temperature today is pretty rubbish really, 9c is my maximum. I need to water my Dicksonia antarctica today as well really.
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

http://s1006.photobucket.com/home/sanat ... entuploads


Post Reply