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joe_OC

Tree Ferns to Create Shade/Filtered Light

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joe_OC

Along with palms, I collect tree ferns.  I am planning on using them to create shade/filtered light for my sun tender palm seedlings.  They grow faster and don’t really root compete with palms.

Is anyone doing this?  How has it worked for you?

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GDLWyverex
1 hour ago, joe_OC said:

Along with palms, I collect tree ferns.  I am planning on using them to create shade/filtered light for my sun tender palm seedlings.  They grow faster and don’t really root compete with palms.

Is anyone doing this?  How has it worked for you?

I have been using sphaeropteris cooperi  to do that for the last 10 years and it works well for the short palms that can tolerate filtered sun but not so well with the deep shade lovers as the fern fronds are inconsistent in their coverage being somewhat short lived.

Richard

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joe_OC
1 hour ago, GDLWyverex said:

I have been using sphaeropteris cooperi  to do that for the last 10 years and it works well for the short palms that can tolerate filtered sun but not so well with the deep shade lovers as the fern fronds are inconsistent in their coverage being somewhat short lived.

Richard

Only using it to help palms harden off to the sun.  Thought about using Cyathea cooperi cv. “Brentwood” since they are robust growers.  But, have decided to use the different Cyatheas I have  collect instead.  

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PalmCode

I'm using Cyathea dealbata and Cyathea medullaris to try to give my Hedyscepe some needed shade and frost protection. 

And all my Rhopalostylis seedlings love growing under their cover.

 

 

100_3044.JPG

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branislav

Joe, what was your source for the tree ferns? I have found some here but nothing larger that 1G of the more interesting types.

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Cikas
On 12/8/2018 at 2:27 AM, joe_OC said:

Along with palms, I collect tree ferns.  I am planning on using them to create shade/filtered light for my sun tender palm seedlings.  They grow faster and don’t really root compete with palms.

Is anyone doing this?  How has it worked for you?

Thing is, ferns in general do not like full sun. Full sun can kill them in hot climates. Ferns itself prefer shade. 

Edited by Cikas

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Merlyn2220
1 hour ago, Cikas said:

Thing is, ferns in general do not like full sun. Full sun can kill them in hot climates. Ferns itself prefer shade. 

I found that out here, full sun in the summer just torches the fronds.  Maybe there are varieties that can handle more sun, but in central FL they require filtered light or a minimal amount of direct sun.

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Justin

Joe, I think you'll find this difficult, as in SoCal most of the tree ferns will want more shade than the palms underneath will.  Especially during Santa Anas, the tree ferns will wilt and lose limbs.  I had a Cyathea cooperi that eventually grew up to over 10' tall by the time I moved from VIsta, but it's not optimal for hiding small palms.  Now, if there are other, taller palms or trees above, the tree ferns do make good secondary canopy, with smaller palms below that.  I had that in one part of the yard and it worked great and looked great.

If you're looking for a quick shade plant for above a small palm, and planning on removing the shade plant after a bit, in my experience the best sort of plant is either a normal or ornamental banana.  The Ensetes do quite well for quick shade, as they grow quickly with a lot of water, and basically the amount of water controls their growth rate.

Good luck.

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Merlyn2220
7 hours ago, Justin said:

If you're looking for a quick shade plant for above a small palm, and planning on removing the shade plant after a bit, in my experience the best sort of plant is either a normal or ornamental banana.  The Ensetes do quite well for quick shade, as they grow quickly with a lot of water, and basically the amount of water controls their growth rate

That's a good suggestion, the fastest sun-tolerant plants are probably bananas. In my area the fastest growers are the Ice Cream, Basjoo and Ensete Maurelli.  My Ice Cream grew 2 feet in February, and given enough water and fertilizer an Enseti Maurelli went from 2 to 12 feet in one summer. 

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Cindy Adair

I am grateful to the quick growing bananas and my Cyathea tree ferns after hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017. I did not plant either.

I am now working to dig out and remove lots of the bananas, leaving the tree ferns that seem perfect for many shade loving palms.

The lacy fronds let in the rain and do not take up much ground space once they trunk. 

The dry fronds of the ferns are fairly light so when they fall they have (so far) not damaged plants below.

I just pick them up and stack them in a pile as part of preparing a new planting area.

In contrast the banana leaves block rain, so I have killed a few palms that were bone dry. Bananas eventually take up more and more ground space and as each stem dies (after it fruits) and falling on plants below is a worry.

I do have many many bananas so having enough fruit to eat is never an issue.

Removing tree ferns is easy and the occasional stumps when trees are killed by strong wind can remain to hold vanilla vines, orchids or black pepper vines. 

Lastly I thank the tree ferns for broadcasting spores in the wind, so quick growing baby tree ferns are some of the first plants to emerge on areas of landslides. They look like ground covers in places. 

Perfect for eventual shade return to those devastated vertical areas and for sharing shovel fulls to those in PR who have no trees.

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bgl

Joe,

That's an excellent idea and I have used this approach a LOT, but then again, I'm on the Big Island, where conditions are quite different. No idea how it will work in SoCal, where rainfall and humidity are vastly different. But certainly worth a try! :) 

Bo-Göran

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Josue Diaz

I used them to grow Howeas in Chowchilla. They protected from frost and sun until the dreaded freeze of 2007 killed the palms. The cyatheas survived.

I imagine that you'd have to resort to growing from spores in order to collect tree ferns no? how easy or difficult of a task is that if you do go that route?

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TomJ
2 hours ago, Cindy Adair said:

I am grateful to the quick growing bananas and my Cyathea tree ferns after hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017. I did not plant either.

I am now working to dig out and remove lots of the bananas, leaving the tree ferns that seem perfect for many shade loving palms.

The lacy fronds let in the rain and do not take up much ground space once they trunk. 

The dry fronds of the ferns are fairly light so when they fall they have (so far) not damaged plants below.

I just pick them up and stack them in a pile as part of preparing a new planting area.

In contrast the banana leaves block rain, so I have killed a few palms that were bone dry. Bananas eventually take up more and more ground space and as each stem dies (after it fruits) and falling on plants below is a worry.

I do have many many bananas so having enough fruit to eat is never an issue.

Removing tree ferns is easy and the occasional stumps when trees are killed by strong wind can remain to hold vanilla vines, orchids or black pepper vines. 

Lastly I thank the tree ferns for broadcasting spores in the wind, so quick growing baby tree ferns are some of the first plants to emerge on areas of landslides. They look like ground covers in places. 

Perfect for eventual shade return to those devastated vertical areas and for sharing shovel fulls to those in PR who have no trees.

What species of ferns?

You can grow a lot more than we can with all your humidity.

 

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Cindy Adair

As to what species I have, see the discussion and photos above. I have two different kinds, but personally can not verify the names.

 

 

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