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Ferns on Palm Trunks

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by ScotTi, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,816
    It is time to clean up some palms in the garden. Here is Livistona benthamii with ferns growing in the palm boots. I fear the fern will overtake the crown. Best to remove or will it be fine?
     

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  2. Jerry@TreeZoo

    Jerry@TreeZoo Well-Known Member

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    I would leave them alone but that is just me. It is a matter of what you think looks good. You can either pull them by hand or put a roundup solution on a sponge mop and climb a ladder.
     
  3. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,846
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I'm with Jerry. Unless you can't stand the look neither of those ferns will cause any damage, or "overtake" the crown. But I would certainly avoid any Round Up. Sponging it on up there would be a accident waiting to happen. It would be hard to hand sponge on them effectively anyway. That "sword fern" you can just grab and pull out easily if it is anything like what I have here - very few weak roots.

    Personally I like it. However, with a prolonged dry spell they might start looking a little ratty. Right now, I like the look. You usually only see that look in the tropics.

    Can you get up there anyway? How high is it?
     
  4. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,816
    I like the look and will leave them be. Here is another little fern called the Resurrection Fern growing on a palm trunk. Often seen growing on the limbs of the Live Oak. First pic taken in its dry state of life. The second pic taken a few hours later of same fern after a little water.
     

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  5. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Those are cool. I remember buying them as a kid in mail order.
     
  6. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,816
    Here is another fern growing around my Butia.
     

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  7. Jim in Los Altos

    Jim in Los Altos Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    9b or Sunset zone 16
    Those ferns look beautiful in a tropical rainforest sort of way. I can't imagine them ever overtaking the palm's canopy. I grow bromeliads, succulents, and staghorn ferns in/on some of my palms.
     
  8. Peachy

    Peachy Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    In the rainforests in my part of the state, ferns, orchids and other ephytes grow up he trunks of trees and palms naturally. Often see olderCIDP as street trees with the trunks literally covered in ferns too. To me it looks pretty, its a natural occurance and does not harm the palms. My largest Roystonea (10 metres or so) is covered by syngonium, only the crownshaft stops it from being buried, but he is big healthy palm and no damage appears to be done even by this extreme.
    Peachy
     
  9. Eriksji

    Eriksji Active Member

    Messages:
    55
    I like the ferns myself. Butia with stag horn.
     

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