The Q&A Archives: Winter Protection For Tasmanian Tree Fern

Question: How can you protect a Tasmanian Tree Fern during the Winter? It's not hardy where I live.

Answer: Cyathea cooperi, Australian Tree Fern, is the hardiest of all tree ferns, withstanding temperatures of 20 degrees F. At such low temperatures there will be damage to the fronds, but the plant should survive. Depending upon the height of your plant (it starts out as a low clump and then develops a trunk-like stem), you can build a temporary shelter out of a wooden frame draped with burlap to protect the fronds. As the plant grows, you may just have to put up with some damage to the fronds. If a hard freeze comes, dead fronds will drop from the plant and new fronds will be produced the following spring. Try to find a sheltered spot for your tree fern, perhaps near a building or a stand of trees that will block winter winds. It's an interesting enough plant to warrant the extra winter care it will require. Good luck with your landscape!

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