HOW TO WATER TREE FERNS - What the garden centres don't tell you!

With the effect of climate change affecting summer temperatures and rainfall in the UK, maintaining tree ferns in peak condition is becoming increasing difficult. The reason for this is simple. Tree ferns typically thrive in cloud forests, also called a water forest, characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover. The result of this is a something equivalent to 1 metres of rainfall per year. Now transfer this plant to the drought ridden summers of the United Kingdom and something has to give. You either need to provide your tree fern with the conditions it requires or you can watch it slowly disappear due to attrition!

In order to cope with the specialist conditions of the cloud forest tree ferns have evolved several ways to enhance these unique environmental conditions. The canopy has developed a funnel-shaped structure to drawn in as much moisture and rainfall to the crown,and the trunk itself is like a huge sponge full of woody, fibrous roots. To reduce the risk of the trunk drying out the old fronds remain on the tree but bend downwards to help retain moisture in the trunk. If you look careful you can even see an indented channel running along the centre of the fronds stipe to help direct water to the crown.

As you can imagine, watering tree ferns is a little more involved than simply watering the roots in the soil to check out the above video to find out exactly how you should be watering your tree ferns.

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