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Tree fern protection over winter

jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 463
Does anybody with tree ferns have any experience here ... basically I got one of these earlier this year and have put a handful of straw and a bit of fleece + sack cloth around the middle / crown section, but haven't tied up the fronds.   They look too nice to tie up for 5 months!  

What do others do?

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,929
    I don't grow them - last garden far too cold and wet and this one far too hot and dry - so can only point you at the advice the RHS gives.  Seems useful to me.  - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=171


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,941
    Twenty years of unprotected growth with mine has proven its hardiness here (E.Lincs.)
    I cut all fronds off in December as close to the 'trunk' as possible .
    'Protecting' the crown with straw (to me) only encourages moisture retention which then freezes !
    Mine went down to a -16C wind chill with no fleece or anything else during the 'Beasts' onslaught in March ; growth this Summer was incredible .
    New arrivals in the UK (with their certificate of importation) , will not be acclimatised to the 'stop/start' regimen of the UK climate , (especially our 'fickle' Springs) !!
    In that case I would pot-grow for a couple of years and overwinter in an unheated g/house at least for the first two-years .


  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 463
    Paul B3 said:
    Twenty years of unprotected growth with mine has proven its hardiness here (E.Lincs.)
    I cut all fronds off in December as close to the 'trunk' as possible .
    'Protecting' the crown with straw (to me) only encourages moisture retention which then freezes !
    Mine went down to a -16C wind chill with no fleece or anything else during the 'Beasts' onslaught in March ; growth this Summer was incredible .
    New arrivals in the UK (with their certificate of importation) , will not be acclimatised to the 'stop/start' regimen of the UK climate , (especially our 'fickle' Springs) !!
    In that case I would pot-grow for a couple of years and overwinter in an unheated g/house at least for the first two-years .


    Interesting to hear Paul.

    Just wondering - I heard this thing was ultra-slow growing, but if that's the case won't it take years for those fronds to grow back?  The fronds on mine are all really big and healthy looking ... just feels wrong to cut them off?
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    they grow new fronds every year, the existing ones get frosted and die back anyway so chopping them off just gets rid of them quicker,
    i tend to leave mine on and put a 'hat' of old lino over the top of the lightly straw stuffed crown (cut around where the fronds are) before wrapping in fleece, that way it stops the rain getting into the crown and freezing (which is what kills them)
    just check them in warm weather as they do need to be a bit damp, and also last winter a mouse had set up its food store in the crown, so i had to get rid of quite a few seedlings in spring
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 463
    they grow new fronds every year, the existing ones get frosted and die back anyway so chopping them off just gets rid of them quicker,
    i tend to leave mine on and put a 'hat' of old lino over the top of the lightly straw stuffed crown (cut around where the fronds are) before wrapping in fleece, that way it stops the rain getting into the crown and freezing (which is what kills them)
    just check them in warm weather as they do need to be a bit damp, and also last winter a mouse had set up its food store in the crown, so i had to get rid of quite a few seedlings in spring
    Really?  I thought they were ultra-slow growing, i've got fronds which are over a metre in length- how long do these take to grow back?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 68,176
    edited October 2018
    They're like other ferns ... they grow new fronds every year ... they appear and unfurl quite quickly ... it's the 'trunk' and consequentally the height that grows so slowly. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,941
    New fronds can unfurl in a couple of days ! Keep damp at all times .
    It's the trunk that's slow growing ; average of 1" per year .
    A 6' plus plant is getting on for around eighty-years old ; you're buying a lot of 'growing-time' there , hence the expense .
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 463
    I can't wait to see this!  Surely those fronds must have huge leaf buds beforehand?  I'm fairly new to gardening as you can tell, but I'm massive fan of all ferns, in particular the wild ones - I think it's "cinnamon" fern?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 68,176
    Like all ferns, the leaves look more like shepherd's crooks before they unfurl  ... in fact they're sometimes called Croziers like a Bishop's Crook


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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