Tasmanian tree fern

roserobin_gwApril 12, 2010

I got one at the local grocery store! wondering where to place it. How quickly should I expect it to grow here? (it is quite small now, 2 gallon pot, maybe 1' tall, 18" wide) Will it need protection in Victoria BC in a fairly sheltered spot, (zone 8). Thanks.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, you have to shelter these each winter most locations this far north.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:13AM
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novita(SWB.C. z8)

There were some fairly big tree ferns at Hatley Park Gardens near Victoria. At least they were there a few years ago. If you live near the water, you might get away with it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:08PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I've seen those. Right back from the water, along a quiet inlet. Perhaps covered during the winter.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:57AM
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gardengal48

There is an entire allee of them (6+ footers) planted along a very long driveway at a local computer software mogul's estate. But the driveway is heated in winter and the tops are wrapped. Helps if you can afford the expense of the TLC necessary to keep them happy :-)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 11:34AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I missed the tree ferns when I was at Hatley Park gardens. It was in January last year so that explains it. Beautiful gardens though. I liked the Japanese Garden the best.

I keep my tree fern in the sunroom for the winter and it's barely alive after five years. I can't imagine leaving it out all winter. Heck, my mulched Gunnera barely made it through the cold spell in Dec.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 11:45AM
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roserobin_gw

Thanks for your responses. I have seen the tree fern at Hatley park (Royal Roads) and it is closer to the water than I am. Will it grow okay in a large pot if I have to keep it sheltered/protected in winter? Or can I just pile leaves over the base in the fall?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:26PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Any closer to the water and it would be in it.

Hardiest of tree ferns; well-established plants tolerate 20F/-7C

--Sunset Western Garden Book (2007, Sunset Publishing, Menlo Park)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 1:04PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

A guy in Olympia bought a massive one last summer and planted it right in the ground. For winter protection he stuffed some leaves into the crown. It's now pushing new growth from the center of the crown, though of course all the fronds were lost. I'm impressed - I didn't think it would survive 12 degrees. Generally I think Sunset's 20F rating is pretty accurate for this plant.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 3:16PM
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tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

I live on Vashon Island in Puget Sound and every year I plant a Tasmanian Tree fern and every year it gets zapped by a brief cold spell.

I have now sought professional help for my zonal denial and will not make the same mistake this year after ten years of trying. Instead I'm opting to find the big ferns that thrive in my climate.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Look for giant chain fern.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 2:21PM
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sam_wa(7b/8a)

There are a few fairly large ones planted in downtown Seattle that I know have been in for at least 5+ years. I believe the trunks just get wrapped with burlap every winter. The old fronds die back, but they push out a ton of new ones every spring.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 3:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The couple I have seen there were under massive building overhangs, so in addition to the urban smog dome having some effect on temperature plunges (and the proximity to salt water tempering conditions) you have architecture forming a barrier to frost.

And they are apparently being wrapped as well.

You can also do a lot for tender plants by building a heated greenhouse over them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 8:43PM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

Once you give up trying to grow them outside around here, try overwintering them from Nov. 1 to April 1 in your garage, with a little light, like you would a fuchsia. Then you also don't have to go with the very cold-hardiest, which is not as attractive and not nearly as fast-growing as Cyathea australis, the Australian tree fern. Just remember they like their fronds watered occasionally also, to avoid bugs.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 4:08AM
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