STAGHORN FERNS - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for MIMI3855
Question by MIMI3855
April 13, 2007
How is a staghorn fern mounted to wood and then to a tree or wall? I believe I have seen this but I don't know if it is nailed to the wood or how it is attached.

Answer from NGA
April 13, 2007
To attach a stag to a board, prepare some sphagnum moss by soaking the moss in water (rain water is best) for several hours to hydrate the material

The mounting board you select should be a hard wood, like oak or mahogany, and as large and thick as you like. You could also use pecky cypress or redwood. Your stag will grow sideways so the larger the board you start with, the longer your stag can remain growing undisturbed

If you use a small board, you will very likely have to re-mount your stag on a larger board in the future. If you live in South Florida (climate zone 10) or Hawaii or another tropical area, you can mount your stag directly on a fine hardwood tree

On the back of your board, attach a very strong hook or wire loop or steel chain to support your stag when hanging. This must be very strong because your stag will get very heavy in the future, especially after soaked with rain. Use strong screws versus nails. Get heavy duty hardware for this job.

On the front (mounting) side of your board, tack in small nails in a pattern an inch or two larger than your stag. Now place some of your soaked sphagnum moss in the center of the nails (the center of your board). Lay your stag down onto the moss with the fertile frond tips up.

Get some light fishing line, say 5-pound test line. Tie one end of the fishing line to one of your nails. Cross over the stag to the opposite nail. Keep crossing your stag with fishing line and attaching to your nails until your stag is firmly mounted

As your stag grows, it will grow over the mounting fishing line and it will disappear from view.

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