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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



Tree Project.

Tree Ferns.

There are over 700 Species of Tree Ferns that come from, cool and temperate regions, to the tropical rainforests in the warmer parts of America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand and their neighbouring islands. Indeed Tree Ferns can be found growing almost worldwide, although of course they are not really “Trees,” at all. They get their name from the fact that not only do some grow to Tree like proportions as high as 20 metres, but they do often have what looks like a straight, upright, single, Trunk, although this is in fact an erect Rhizome and for the most part is dead organic material.
The popular “Dicksonia Antarctica,” is Native to eastern Australia and is really an evergreen, but because it needs Winter protection here in the UK it enters a period of dormancy as it gets colder in the late Autumn. Some Tree Ferns will stand a few degrees of frost, but it is common practice to bring them into shelter for Winter, or in milder parts, to cut back the Fronds a little and wrap the top part of the plant in insulating material to protect it from the cold and wet.

Typically, Tree Ferns only grow about 1 inch a year and can live a long time. It is said that one Fern in Australia is over 500 years old, but many plantations have been decimated in recent years. Dicksonia prefers slightly acidic conditions, but above all prefers some shade and most importantly moist, humid conditions. It can grow up to 15m and its fronds can be up to 10 feet long. The “Pith,” of this “Soft Tree Fern,” to give it another name, was once eaten raw, or cooked, by Aboriginals. They split the top part of the trunks and ate the starch filled rich central material. However, early English explorers said it was too bitter for English tastes.
Another popular Tree Fern is the “Smooth Tree Fern,” or Norfolk Tree Fern, that comes from Norfolk Island off the coast of Australia. This Fern called “Sphaeropteris Excelsa,” or “Cyathea Brownii,” which is one of the larger Tree Ferns, can grow up to 20 metres and may be considered poisonous if eaten by humans.
Here in the UK Tree Ferns are generally considered to be pest and disease free.
Propagation can be done by germinating spores that will be created by plants that are some 20 years, or more, old. The Trunks themselves will not root if cut up, but branches, or offsets may be separated and rooted. The lower part of the trunks are just dead organic matter.



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