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Planting out Dicksonia antarctica's in feb?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:23 pm
by Steady
Hi there, ordered two tree ferns last year and looking like they will be delivered early to mid feb. The ferns are coming in logs and wondering wheather to plant out in potential freezing conditions or try and keep moist and store in garage untill spring? Sure they've had a long journey from source and maybe a bit more time stored might be ok? They're 5 and 6 foot so possibly bit more robust than smaller ones but as dormant could they handle cold temps with no ground roots?

Re: Planting out Dicksonia antarctica's in feb?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:32 pm
by Dave Brown
There is no point in planting as nothing will happen until May or even June. Sitting them in cold ground will just make them long for home :wink:

I'd just put the base in a bucket of damp compost and if it gets warm enough in the garage you may get some roots before planting in May.

Re: Planting out Dicksonia antarctica's in feb?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:08 pm
by Tom2006
Good advice from Dave, follow that and you will have nice Dicksonia antarctica's bursting with life come spring. icon_thumleft

Re: Planting out Dicksonia antarctica's in feb?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:26 pm
by fern Rob
Not a good time to plant them out in February. I have a few on order as well. I will be taking Different approach as I'm impatient, follow Daves advice to be safe :D

I shall plant my 2 out in early March on I mild day and stick the hose pipe in to the crown for 10 mins each getting the crown and the whole trunk wet. If it is forecasted for a frost I shall cover it with fleece, if the temperature stays mild then the croziers will start to rise in a couple of days. I personally like to get them out of dormancy as fast as possible. Getting the trunk wet seems to encourage any roots in the trunk to grow and also encourage new ones to form.
I will be watching them like a hawk. really don't take my technique as you could really upset the Tree fern :D

Re: Planting out Dicksonia antarctica's in feb?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:46 pm
by Tom2006
The only problem with encouraging growth early is that the new fronds are really easily hit by late frosts.

Re: Planting out Dicksonia antarctica's in feb?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:28 am
by Steady
Thanks for the input, I was thinking that they must be transported in a shipping container or such and therefore must have been in log form for quite a while? I wasn't sure how much longer they may be kept like this before they've had enough of this world! Storing in my garage although relatively warm is dark as no windows but not much different to shipping conditions? Would there be potential for growth in the dark if in compost if temps were right? Would they dry out too much? So many questions!!!!!!

Re: Planting out Dicksonia antarctica's in feb?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:26 am
by Dave Brown
If you are intending to start them off in the garage, they would need to be soaked in a bucket of water for a few days, but beware, they will double or treble in weight once fully hydrated. Obviously once any croziers start to unfurl they will need light, but not sure if light is needed to trigger growth, as mine were bought with fronds/croziers already unfurling.