How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

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Dave Brown
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How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:22 pm

Now that the worst of winter is behind us I have removed the screwed up musa leaves from the crown of my Dicksonia antarctica to reveal a nice sets of knuckles. The fronds were not completely fried in the -5.7C we had here but the edges are a bit crispy. I intend to leave them on until the new croziers start to unfurl. The short Dicksonia antarctica 1ft trunk had 24 fronds last year. the 3 ft log without roots had 5, but I'm hoping for more this year. icon_thumright

How have your Tree Ferns done in this cold winter? I'm not sure what their lower limit is on survival. :roll:
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bobbyd44
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by bobbyd44 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:24 pm

so pretty safe to unwrap now then??
nice one, cheers,ta!!
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Troppoz » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:29 pm

Dave I have seen Dicksonia antarctica in southern NSW at high elevations in deep snow growing naturally near a town called Nimmitabel at over 1000m elevation. Nimmitabel seems to have year round temps not too far off what you would expect in your part of the UK...

This climate data might help;

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/ ... _All.shtml

Sean

Interestingly (and completely irrelevant to the topic..) Nimmitabel was in the running to be the capital city of Australia which would have been quite strange to have such a cold capital city in a generally very warm country...

Back to the topic now...
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Juliasaurus » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:44 pm

Image

I unwrapped mine a couple of weeks ago and it's looking good (well, better than I expected anyway!). No knuckles yet, but I know mine is a bit of a late starter (it certainly was last year).


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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by jezza » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:55 pm

My little'un has started, planted it out in late november, only stuffed old leaves down the crown, few crispy fronds otherwise no protection. It's planted 3 feet away from the front wall of the house and 3 feet away from next doors hedge so pretty protected.


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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:38 pm

bobbyd44 wrote:so pretty safe to unwrap now then??
Bobby, I'm not an expert on these as only been growing them for 2 years, and I'm talking about Dicksonia antarctica. Cyathera cooperi will probably still need protection. If a Dicksonia antarctica it will depend on how much you have wrapped it, and how cold your area is. Here I would not expect to get any lower than -2C now and the last air frosts are about mid April.

If you have RHS style wire mesh and straw I would say that could come off now but is does depend on how much frost you are still likely to get. The only protection I will give mine now is if a hard frost is forecast and that will be just a couple of leaves stuffed in the crown to protect the knuckles.

Sean, I have heard they are good down to -12C but with the cost of them most people err on the side of caution. Our resident pioneer on this type of thing is Fletch. :lol: If he gets them to survive most people won't have any trouble icon_salut Fletch how are yours doing :?:
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Adrian » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:51 pm

Be carefull removing any protection too early, I leave my fleece balls in the top until the croziers start to push them out, even then Id be ready to protect again if needed .
Any frost damage, although not noticeable, will come back and haunt you later in the season.
Yes Dicksonia antarctica are very cold hardy but the slightest frost nick on a new young crozier could cause a weakness that could snap the frond later in the growing season, it can also cause deformaties in the fronds.
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by GARYnNAT » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:44 pm

All our Dicksonia antarctica's are pushing out croziers, just checked our Fibrosa and again there are knuckles in the crown, also checked our Cyathea australis and it to has knuckles showing :D

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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Troppoz » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:55 pm

Adrian wrote:Be carefull removing any protection too early, I leave my fleece balls in the top until the croziers start to push them out, even then Id be ready to protect again if needed .
Any frost damage, although not noticeable, will come back and haunt you later in the season.
Yes Dicksonia antarctica are very cold hardy but the slightest frost nick on a new young crozier could cause a weakness that could snap the frond later in the growing season, it can also cause deformaties in the fronds.
Adrian maybe it all depends on the provenance of the Dicksonia antarctica. They also grow naturally in milder coastal areas and even up into southern Queensland so maybe plants originating from those parts of Australia are the ones that are a bit pernickity with cold.

Trust me I have seen these growing in snow 4 feet deep in the highlands without any burning of the fronds so plants from the alpine areas wold be the most hardy in the UK/Europe.
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Stuart Bebb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:00 pm

Its a bit tooooo early for my Dicksonia antarctica's ,Fibrosa,and C. australis, but interestingly other tree ferns are on the move my Cyathea brownii which I've had in the conservatory since the beginning of the cold spell of weather is going great guns Pic1 the other bit of a star is my Cyathea medullaris its been in the polly tunnel all winter and when it was very cold it did have a small heater in there but still got down to below -3 pleased to say thats on the move as well.
cheers Stuart
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by DavidF » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:36 pm

I've just been out and had a feel around in my Dicksonia antarctica's and there are firm knuckles in 4 of them (I have finally resigned myself that the 5th one is dead).

They all still have fleece tucked into the crowns and I think I'll just leave it there as I don't want to get caught out by any late frosts.
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by stephenprudence » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:48 pm

There are no new fronds emerging from the one here at my g/f. I think because it's been so dry and I didn't water it over winter, I may have unwittingly killed it, but the fronds are green so it's unlikely I suppose.
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Nathan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:08 pm

My D.A has a set of fronds awaiting in the crown, it's a sad looking thing at the moment though as the cat uses it as a scratch post :roll: So it only has fronds on one side...
My Cibbotium glaucum, which has lost all its fronds for the first time, has a nice new frond starting to emerge from the trunk, so at least that's not dead... :DD
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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by tropical-pete » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:30 pm

Last time I checked there weren't any in the 2ft B & Q one we got last year, but I'll check again this weekend. When we bought it last year it only have 6/7 fronds on it but they were huge, and it did come potted with a rootball. Some of you may have seen my post a couple of weeks ago about how the emerging fronds never really emerged properly, so it didn't grow much after we bought it, but I'm hoping for at least a half decent flush this year given last Summer's wet weather plus the fact that it should have started to settle in quite a bit now.

Last time I check the two Wilkinson's Dicksonias, nothing was in those either but again I'll check this weekend, hoping for some nice fronds.

The two Cyathea Cooperii (well, bought them from Akamba, one labelled Cooperii but the other labelled Australis, although I believe it was concluded that they were both Cooperii) are being checked regularly - one seems to have come through fine having it's own fronds wrapped around it and a bucket placed on top, and there are definitely some more firm croziers in there waiting to come up. The other had the same treatment but I'm not so sure about it - it's not mushy or squishy inside but at the same time there's no firm croziers in there either, maybe they've just yet to form or maybe it's dead? We'll have to wait and see....

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Re: How's your knuckles? (Tree Ferns)

Post by Robin Cassell » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:34 pm

One of mine totally fried and the other just half brown icon_scratch The one that totally browned gets less sun and stands in water when the lawn floods.sometimes for days on end.I thought they might like the soggy ground ???.they were both 40 quid from wilkies :DD..Ive asked the lady in wilkies to give me a call and stash to one side if any doubles like Mark D,s come in :D
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