There are three ferns in my backyard, each over seven feet tall. I
don't know the specific variety. These were planted by the previous
owner along the fenceline with the adjacent properties. I would like
to replace them with another set of plants or trees. Is it possible
to remove and recover space from plants that size? The trunks are
large and I am assuming that the root system must be quite extensive.
Just chopping them down would leave substantial stumps and doesn't
make the soil usable for anything else.
Redondo Beach, CA
(Los Angeles area)
I agree that you might learn to live with them. I think there is a drive by
people to erase everything "the previous homeowner" did, from the color of
the walls to the makeup of the landscape. I have seen people move in around
me who have removed wonderful plants only to put in some deadly common,
inappropriately sited plant from Wal-Mart that didn't survive the summer.
Then they get discouraged or lose interest and move on to the next project
leaving the landscape worse for their time and effort.
Austrilian Tree fern (Cyathea cooperi) for one. I fell in love with it while
visiting Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida (zone 9b). Sunset National
Garden book says it grows in zones 15 to 27 of their zone system. It says
that they can get as high as 20 feet with a 12 spread. The fronds are at the
top of a trunk, and walking under them is no problem when they get big
enough. The ones I saw may have been 12 tall and provided shade for other
A composite reply. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.
I don't think that's quite the case here. The ferns are planted close
to fences, the fronds reach over into the neighboring properties, and
the roots are undoubtedly crossing into the other yards, as well. It
is a small backyard and I was hoping to plant other trees in the place
of the ferns or use the space for planters and/or planterboxes. When
I water these plants that are so close to the fenceline, the runoff
finds its way through gaps in the fence to the adjacent property.
I don't know the variety and I am sure that there must be dozens of
them. I am referring to the height of the tops of the leaves/fronds.
The trunks are about three or four feet high and have some kind of
fine fuzz that grows on them.
I'll do some more research, perhaps have someone come in to look at
the yard and make suggestions about how to keep the trees that are
there and add the trees that I think I would like to have.
I've often been surprosed how shallow fern root systems are. Give yours a
gentle tug and see if they move.
OTOH, your trash may be someone's treasure. Those ferns could be worth
anything from $300 to nothing each, depending on their type, size, etc. Put an
ad in the paper or on local bulletin boards, with a pic if possible, along the
lines of "Free ferns---you dig and fill," and you may be surprised by the
response. The previous owners of my house seem to have done nothing but water
the lawn, so I inherited a jungle which I am slowly editing--partly bu hand,
partly by the above method.
wish i had them and had room for them and they would grow in my zone!
some people have all the luck! give it at least a season before you
make an ir-reversable decision.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Ravi) wrote in message
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