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How to move a tree fern

kev vankev van Posts: 112
edited 3 July in Plants
hello, through an acquaintance I might be able to get free tree fern. Only info I have is it's in the ground and is about 3ft tall.  I could go and dig it up as early as this week or as late as the end of July. What's the best way to dig it out and transport it? Also I might have to make a planter for it what size would you recommend? Also it could take me a day or 2 to make a planter box up how do I look after it for the couple of days it's not repotted? 



Cheers
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  • Simone_in_WiltshireSimone_in_Wiltshire WiltshirePosts: 289
    @kev van You need at least a second person who helps you as this tree fern will be very heavy.
    I would take a woollen blanket for the roots, which allows me to keep the roots moist while it's not replanted. If it is almost a meter high, I would dig around a half a meter (less than 2 ft) around and see if there are roots and if there are no roots, then a try a bit closer to the stem (root). Then I would put the entire root soil mix into the woollen blanket.
    Regarding the leaves, assuming you don't have a van but a normal car, they should be bent like for winter preparation. They have shown in the last Beechgrove episode in Autumn last year how they prepare their tree ferns for winter. They bend the leaves down and cover it with plastic wrap.
    At home, leave the tree fern in the woollen blanket, and water it and keep it wet/moist, but release the leaves again.
    Then build the planter and replant the tree fern.
    Where ever you are, we will get warm temperatures next week here in the South.
    If you are wondering why the avatar is a penguin, yes, I'm a Linux user.

  • kev vankev van Posts: 112
    @kev van You need at least a second person who helps you as this tree fern will be very heavy.
    I would take a woollen blanket for the roots, which allows me to keep the roots moist while it's not replanted. If it is almost a meter high, I would dig around a half a meter (less than 2 ft) around and see if there are roots and if there are no roots, then a try a bit closer to the stem (root). Then I would put the entire root soil mix into the woollen blanket.
    Regarding the leaves, assuming you don't have a van but a normal car, they should be bent like for winter preparation. They have shown in the last Beechgrove episode in Autumn last year how they prepare their tree ferns for winter. They bend the leaves down and cover it with plastic wrap.
    At home, leave the tree fern in the woollen blanket, and water it and keep it wet/moist, but release the leaves again.
    Then build the planter and replant the tree fern.
    Where ever you are, we will get warm temperatures next week here in the South.
    I have a trailer about the same size. I'm in the SW , so I take every day's weather as I see it. Also assuming it's 3ft tall plus whatever is below soil level what size planter would you recommend? 

    Cheers for the info
  • Simone_in_WiltshireSimone_in_Wiltshire WiltshirePosts: 289
    @kev van It depends where you want to place the tree fern. We had a British grown but our harsh last winter and spring 2021 almost killed it. I had covered our tree fern and it survived the -6 degrees Celsius in February, but when I thought winter is over, and unwrapped it in March, the frost in April almost killed it. I took it out into a barrel pot and I store it into the greenhouse if there is frost. There is a new sideshoot and it has already 6 leaves. 
    If it is a meter high, can you place it so that you can roll the planter into a conservatory? 
    Make the planter as wide as the roots are and give another 20cm so that it can grow. The height should be arand a half a meter.  The roots are only needed for a tree fern to hold itself to the ground. You need Ericaceous soil which is heavy like clay. 
    I also would add a meter high 4x4 pole to a corner of the planter before you finally replant the tree fern. This allows you to use it as holder like you would  do with trees. Tree fern leaves are huge and can put a lot of energy down the root stem in storm. But it all depends where you put the tree finally. 
    Look for a shady, wind protected place that can have a max of 4 hours sunshine in summer. 
    If you are wondering why the avatar is a penguin, yes, I'm a Linux user.

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,707
    @kev van as @Simone_in_Wiltshire says all good but having a tree fern in a planter? Not sure that is what it really needs. Can you plant it in the ground. We have 3 different tree ferns in the ground and all doing really well in the SW. We do have another in a container which is less hardy but now outdoors (still in the container) and not happy.
  • Simone_in_WiltshireSimone_in_Wiltshire WiltshirePosts: 289
    @bertrand-mabel
    Where I live here in the North East of Wiltshire, we have heaviest clay soil and the the tree fern wouldn't survive it. I took our one out of the ground again after what we had experienced last year. But our one is tiny, just 10cm high and the new grow starts from scratch.

    Looking at my "cold/snow database", we should get snow in Jan/Feb next year, and we are heading into one of these harsh winters like 2009/2010 when we had 3 weeks of frost and snow stretched over several weeks. This could happen in 2024/2025.
    If you are wondering why the avatar is a penguin, yes, I'm a Linux user.

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,707
    @Simone_in_Wiltshire we are also on heavy clay and I agree about the cold spells with this year yet again April was frost after frost. However we do wrap the planted out ones with fleece and the three have survived and have grown lovely huge fronds. Snow is not something that happens here for long (Somerset) but those frosts did go on for many many nights and then the wind!!! Relentless.
  • kev vankev van Posts: 112
    @kev van as @Simone_in_Wiltshire says all good but having a tree fern in a planter? Not sure that is what it really needs. Can you plant it in the ground. We have 3 different tree ferns in the ground and all doing really well in the SW. We do have another in a container which is less hardy but now outdoors (still in the container) and not happy.
    Currently where my ferns will go sit 2 dying conifers, they will be pulled out in next few weeks then I will tackle the roots. Will give the soil some goodness back then plant next year. 
  • kev vankev van Posts: 112
    edited 4 July



  • kev vankev van Posts: 112

  • kev vankev van Posts: 112
    When I found the ferm it was in some very dense growth, with a very large yew and very large conifer keeping it company with bamboo almost touching it.  Laying over about 20°.
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