WTF?...something stole my ostrich fern

nohandle(6a swON)July 23, 2006

Seriously...I'm not making this up, but a couple of days ago we planted a small (~1' tall) ostrich fern. I mulched it with compost yesterday evening and today when I looked, IT WAS GONE!

I don't mean just the fronds were missing, I mean the entire root ball or whatever you want to call the black knobby thing that sticks out of the ground. And the kicker is, there was no hole...no evidence at all that there was a fern there the day before.

I know it wasn't a person who did it. I live in a nice, quiet neighbourhood and besides, you can't even see the fern unless you walk into my backyard and around the corner. And like I said, we just planted it and nobody knew about it, so it's not like someone was playing a joke even.

So, I'm thinking a four-legged thief, but again, no evidence at all. And what would eat or take a fern?

An insect pest seems unlikely too though since it wasn't just the fronds that were gone, but all the old, straw-like, dead stuff at the bottom too (the black knob like I said). A lot to handle in one night. And again, no evidence.

Anyways, I'm totally baffled....more than I can say.

Any ideas???

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andrea_san_diego(z10 So Cal)

Sounds like a very tasty meal for a pocket gopher. He probably pulled the whole thing right down his hole then pushed up the dirt to seal it. Try digging a bigger hole and line it with small chicken wire so the gopher can't get to the new fern. He can smell it but he can't touch.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 4:26PM
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nohandle(6a swON)

Thanks for trying, but it's definitely not a gopher...I don't even think we have them around here. I could be wrong about that, but I can guarantee they aren't a common pest, especially not in residential areas. We do have quite a squirrel infestation though.
Would a squirrel eat an ostrich fern?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 2:38PM
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nohandle(6a swON)

What about a skunk?

Saw one in my yard tonight for the first time.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:20PM
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gardener_sandy

Voles will often leave a hole where the plant was that they dined on but I've seen plants vanish with no trace. Dig around a little where the fern was and see if there are tunnels nearby. If so, then blame the voles. If not, I'm as puzzled as you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 7:59PM
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