How to Move a Tree Fern


Tree ferns are tropical ferns that are known for their fibrous trunks and fine-leafed fronds. The Tasmanian and New Zealand varieties top out at around 6 to 8 feet. The Australian variety can reach a height of 20 feet. Because of their size it is best to move them to a permanent location that can meet their space needs while they are still young and before their root system becomes firmly established. The ideal transplanting time is early spring.

Step 1

Pick a shady location for your tree fern that has well-draining soil. A location that has a wind barrier such as a group of trees or a building is ideal.

Step 2

Cut and remove the fern’s fronds, or leaves, prior to transplanting.

Step 3

Dig up the plant being careful to remove as much of the root system as possible.

Step 4

Dig a planting hole in the chosen site that is twice the width of the root ball and equally as deep.

Step 5

Place the tree fern into the hole. Add more soil, if needed, to bring the root ball up to ground level. Backfill the hole with soil. Tamp down on the soil with the back end of a hoe.

Step 6

Water the growing site thoroughly, then allow the water to drain. Add more soil, if needed, to bring the site up to ground level.

Step 7

Fertilize every three months with an organic fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel Pruning shears Hoe Organic fertilizer


  • North Dakota State University: Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
  • Canberra Times: How to Grow Tree Ferns Successfully
Keywords: move tree fern, transplant tree fern, plant tree fern

About this Author

Leigh Walker has been working as a writer since 1995. She serves as a ghostwriter for many online clients creating website content, e-books and newsletters. She works as a title flagger and writer for Demand Studios, primarily writing home and garden pieces for and Walker pursued an English major/psychology minor at Pellissippi State.