We sometimes get asked the question "we have a tree fern (not sure what variety) and we want to relocate it from its present position - can we do that and will it regrow?"
The answer is yes you can try and it may or may not regrow but you can give it a better than 50/50 chance if you do the following
1. Best time to do any dig up of a tree fern is August/Sept.
2. Get a sharp spade and cut down alongside the trunk - depth will depend on how tall the tree is - if say 2-3 metres then at least 40-50cm deep. You will need to dig back a bit on one side as you then need to cut though the root system on a horiziontal attack to sheer off the root of the trunk from the rest of its rootball below.
3. Cut back all the fronds to just above the growing tip which is located in the crown of the trunk - don't damage that growing tip (think about it as having a number 4 haircut so that you scalp is not touched and just enough hair there to be comfortable). Be conservative so best to leave say 4-5cm of stem showing on fronds you have cut.
4. Having dug your new hole make sure it is well watered (throw a bucket or two into the hole) the put your fern into it, ram around the sides so it stands firm and make sure it doesn't dry out. About October you should see new fronds coming through. You can, by putting your hand into the crown, feel for new koru's - if you don't get any fronds and the crown has gone mushy then sorry your fern hasn't survived the transplant.
5. Ferns are natural shade lovers so when re-siting your fern think carefully about where you are going to relocate it to.
6. Fertilising? provided your soil is good free draining no real need to fertilise but if you want to scatter a handful or so of blood and bone into the hole and mix in prior to re-planting then do so, won't hurt.
7. Do I water from the top or only around the trunk? Answer is too intensive watering of the crown may cause fungal infection resulting in rot and death. We find a quick top water is helpful but a good ground water around the trunk is best - twice per week (if no natural rainfall) should suffice.Back to News
Re-locating a tree fern We sometimes get asked the question "we have a tree fern (not sure what variety) and we want to relocate it from its present position - can we do that and will it regrow?"
Notes on Tree Ferns To many people one tree fern looks just the same as any other and we are often asked for a "ponga" and the requester expresses surprise that there is more than one variety!!!