Transplanting Cyathea Tree Ferns

Cyathea cooperi Tree Fern after being moved
 This is a five year old Cyathea cooperi Tree Fern which we transplanted from its original postion to this spot.

You can see how I dug down about 500mm for the rootball to be covered at ground level and then built up organic matter (cow manure and compost) around the base and trunk for stability and to keep the moisture in.  This is very effective in giving transplanted tree ferns the damp but not moist conditions they thrive in, plus it saves having to build stakes around the plant for structural support.

I used about fifteen rocks to keep the base firm and to protect it from foraging chickens, as well as about eight bricks to stop erosion from watering.  The rootball at 5 years is about the 500mm across, and I did chop it back a bit for shape with a spade to give the rootball as neat fit with the hole.

Using three 25L bags of cow manure and about 2 bags of compost means the plant has plenty of nutrient rich media to grow into as it settles into place.  I imagine it will take 18 months to settle in completely and re establish the fronds to the previous length, which was about 3m long and about 15 fronds.


  1. I appreciate the policy of "once planted it stays put" or letting plants remain as undisturbed as possible. If you want to go gardening, buy/grow a new plant and keep on planting out new stock.

    1. What nonsense! I wanted some 2 to 3m high tree ferns for a particular location but I didn’t want to plant some and wait 10 years (I may not be in this house for that long!). So when I found some that were going to be dug out and dumped to make way for a new driveway I bought them and transplanted them. This article gave me the confidence to do that and they are now doing very well in their new home.

  2. It is best to keep them as they are, perhaps a little watering.

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