Tasmanian Tree Fern covered in what looks like a Lichen?


Hi, this is my tree fern which I’ve had for about 10 years now. Over the past 18 months it’s trunk on one side has grown this amazing Lichen (well that’s what it looks like to me, I’m no expert) - just wondered if it is likely to harm it, and if so what I can do about it. The strange thing is it only seems to form on the old trunk, not the growth since I’ve had it. The plant stays out all year in a sheltered yard on the South Coast of Devon with just a ball of fleece in its crown to protect it from frost. The fern grows two complete sets of leaves each year, once at the start of summer and one at the end. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,347
    edited 6 November
    I wonder if @Hostafan1 has an idea about this? 
    He lives in damp Devon
    and knows about tree ferns etc 

    Think he’s out this afternoon but I’m
    sure that when he gets back he’ll see this thread 😊 

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







  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 22,007
    I'm afraid I know nothing about them apart from the fact that I'd love some. 
    IMHO the lichen is doing no harm whatsoever and is a sign that it's getting enough moisture. I rather like it.
    Devon.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 22,007
    Forgive our manners @pauljbarham,
    Welcome to the Forum.
    Devon.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,347
    My apologies ... I had a feeling you’d grown them in the past .., must’ve been dreaming. 🙄 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Oh yes it’s damp in Devon alright! :D It’s rained on most days for the past 5 weeks!! Thanks for the response.  :)
  • Difficult to zoom in on your pic but looks like lichen ( bit of a mouthful there ).
    As far as I am aware, lichen would tend to grow on the moist side of a trunk - older wood/bark rather than on fresh green growth and is a sign of unpolluted air.  Do you ever turn it around at all ?  Could just be that one side receives more damp ?
    TBH, if you've had it for 10 years without a problem, I wouldn't worry too much. The climate has altered somewhat even in that period and that is probably all it is.
    The damp SW is ideal for these plants - just avoiding the frost seems to do the job and you have apparently done the biz :)
  • No worries and thanks, I quite like it as well, it’s a fantastic colour. It’s spread much faster and become denser this summer / autumn. The fern seems to have grown fine up until now with it, so hopefully it’s not going to have a detrimental effect. Looks like a great forum :)
  •  :) 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 22,007
    No worries and thanks, I quite like it as well, it’s a fantastic colour. It’s spread much faster and become denser this summer / autumn. The fern seems to have grown fine up until now with it, so hopefully it’s not going to have a detrimental effect. Looks like a great forum :)
    It'll have no detrimental effect whatsoever as it's nowhere near the growing point.
    Devon.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,347
    Yay! We got there 😊 
    and yes ... it’s a great forum ... hope to see you again 👍 
    “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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