Ferns on palm tree trunk

Are the ferns growing on the trunk of my palm tree hurting the tree? Helping?
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It depends on the fern. Most are harmless to the tree.
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JustDave wrote:

No.
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wrote:

Ferns are epiphytes that use the palm tree or any other tree to park themsleves. Like orchids they draw their nourishment from the blown detritis that get trapped in their root crevices. They don't draw any nourishment from the host tree and are harmless to their host. I think the relationship and the appearance of a fern growing on a tree is beautiful.
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JustDave wrote:

You probably have a Resurrection Fern, so named because it dries up in dry weather and greens again when it rains. An epiphyte, not a parasite. Some "air plants", like Spanish Moss, are rumored to damage trees but they do not. They grow more densely in trees with thinner foliage, a possible sign the tree is already weakened. Some cool stuff growing here :o)
http://www.floridagardener.com/FLNatives/ResurrectionFern.htm
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