What to do with my tree ferns.

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Delboy
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What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Delboy » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:26 pm

As some of you know I'm moving house in January, ive been busy digging everything up and potting on but have left the tree ferns till last.

Im not sure what to do for the best. My oldest one has only been in the ground since 2011 from a log so the root ball will still be small enough to move.
I have a 5', 3' and a 2 ' plus some smaller ones that are ok as they are now under cover.

Im tempted to get them dug out now, and store them in the greenhouse, however this would mean cutting off all the healthy fronds as they wont fit inside. Do you think this would set them back much?

The alternatives are,

Leave them where they are and wrap each one like I have previous winters, fronds attached.

Dig all 3 out, shallow plant them huddled together in the garden and wrap as one, fronds left on or off?

So its the greenhouse, leave them be or shallow plant them......I cant decide.
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Tom2006
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Tom2006 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:54 pm

I would just lift and place in a large handled plastic containers and every few days keep the root ball wet. I did this with my only planted Dicksonia antarctica last winter when the serious low temperature chopped shallot. You can then drag them to a sheltered spot when needed and it will make the move easier.
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Steph » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:57 pm

The greenhouse, but why not either tie the fronds up, as in arms above your head, so the plant is tall & skinny.

or

Loosely tie the frond downwards, using a stretchy sash (tights).

Either way you'll keep the fronds for no more than the footprint of the pot.


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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by RozDevon » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:54 pm

If its any help, for the last 15 years I have cut the fronds off our 2' tree fern every winter and it fronds up beautifully every spring. It was in the ground for a few years. Then we moved house and it was potted up and then replanted here . It has grown away perfectly OK since then. I cut the fronds off to make it easier to wrap up for winter but having read on here that its beneficial to keep them on, I shall wrap with them upwards this year and see how it goes.
If you really can't get them in your greenhouse I would'nt worry about cutting the fronds off. In my experience they grow OK in the spring.


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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by redsquirrel » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:54 pm

when i do mine now i screw up some fronds and stuff them into the middle then tie a bit of fleece over the top to keep them in there.they look like cooks caps but it does the job with hardly any artificial protection. i think you will get a surprise when you dig them up,the rootball wont come to much but the surrounding root mat will be quite extensive.
in your situation,id be inclined to leave be until you move and hack them out a day or two before moving
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Kristen » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:30 am

Have you got a greenhouse that they can go into at the far end? If not I would not go that route - artificially warm until January, then put outside :(

Personally I'd leave them be and dig them up before the move, although you are likely to be busy during the move, so maybe dig up a week or so before, depending on how much time you have, and pot them ready for the move - unless perishingly cold, if that's the case I'd dig them up on the day of the move and do other chores sooner to make time.
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multim
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by multim » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:55 am

I would agree in leaving where they are and protecting them as per usual. They are easy enough to dig up as the roots are fibrous and cut easily with a sharp spade. I have used one of those semi-circular planting spades in the past which work better than a flat spade.
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Delboy
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Delboy » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:18 am

Thanks everyone, i checked this morning and the 2 footer is going to be moved into the greenhouse as it hasn't yet rooted much as it was only planted in january. The other 2 i will leave in place and dig up the week before moving but i may trim the fronds off as i don't fancy moving them in winter fully fronded due to all the spores.

I'm hoping to get my greenhouse down and moved before moving day as we know the family quite well and they have okayed me doing this, so if i can get this done i will put the ferns in there till it warms up.
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kata
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by kata » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:01 pm

Leaving mine which was planted in spring,

Fold leaves

Add fleece balls

add a jacket or duvet. That jacket cost me £20.00

Suit ya sel if you make it or not....aimed @ tree fern.

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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Dave Brown » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:04 pm

Only thing is to watch if any real cold spell is due, as will not be easy to dig out from frozen ground. If any freeze is likely near to move date, dig them before :)
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multim
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by multim » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:07 pm

Good call, I forgot to mention perma-frost :)
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Delboy
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Delboy » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:28 pm

Well bit the bullet earlier and lopped all the fronds off. All 3 ferns were looking pristine so it was hard to do but made sense as it will make them easier to wrap and handle.

I may well dig them out at a later date depending on the weather.
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Dim
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Dim » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:22 pm

I would dig them out now, and pot in decent sized airpots with decent compost ... the ground will be frozen solid in Jan and you may do more harm than good

there are hydroponic stores in Worcester that stock airpots and decent compost:

http://www.canigrow.co.uk/?page_id=185

http://www.canigrow.co.uk/?page_id=154

there are several hydroponic stores in Worcester if you google
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Delboy
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Delboy » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:29 pm

I'm swaying more towards lifting now as the more I think about it the more sense it makes.

Thanks Dim, not sure those pots will be needed as the Dicksonia antarctica's will only be out the ground a few months so will do very little. So, being a tight ass I will use some 40ltr potato planters I have here and just sit them in those in the greenhouse.
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Re: What to do with my tree ferns.

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:27 pm

Lift now and keep somewhere out of the worst of the weather. They would be impossible to dig out if the soil was frozen and covered in a foot of snow.


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