The Q&A Archives: Trimming Australian Tree Ferns

Question: How do you control the height growth of an Austrialian Fern Tree? If I cut the top fronds off, will the tree grow new fronds below the area I topoff?

Answer: Cyathea cooperi is the Australian Tree Fern. It begins as a mound of fronds and eventually grows a stem (trunk) with foliage at the very top. It's a fast-growing plant and can get out of control in a very few years. If you remove the topmost foliage, the plant will die down to the roots. It's better to cut the tree down completely to ground level and allow new sprouts to develop at the crown of the plant. Alternately, you can dig the tree fern out and replace it with a new one. Since they're fast-growing, any void left in the landscape will be quickly filled by a new tree fern.

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