We have a nice good-size bird's nest fern in the garden, inherited from the previous occupants. The problem is that there is a lime tree growing in the middle of the fern, and both the lime tree and the fern are too close to the other plants around it, limiting their growth and growing through these plants.

I want to saw off the lime tree and replant the fern elsewhere.

Considering that there is a tree with a root system growing through it, I hope I can saw off the fern at ground level. (Don't see other options)

Since it's normally an epiphyte, I'm hoping that it will survive this if it's watered well at its new location.

Do these ferns create a deep root system when grown in soil, and would it survive having its roots below its "nest" cut off?

Note: the location has a tropical rain forest climate - it's in Singapore next to a forest

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Given that most of the fern's rootball appears to be sitting well above soil level, I'd attempt to dig it out. You don't want the lime tree, so if you destroy some of its roots in the process, it doesn't matter. Keeping some of the roots on the fern will give it the best chance to settle in somewhere else, preferably somewhere it gets no sun in the middle of day - its looking somewhat pale, which might be over exposure to strong sunlight. When you replant, bury the rootball properly, if what's sticking up above ground is the rootball and not the crown of the plant.

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    Eh, these ferns build up a woody crown over time, I'm guessing that's what that is, not the root ball. – J. Musser Mar 15 '15 at 12:07
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    @J.Musser - yes, they do develop a crown - but this one's pot shaped, whereas crowns tend to be more rounded, so I reckon its a rootball from a pot. – Bamboo Mar 15 '15 at 12:08
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    That's because as the plant matures, the woody crown it develops gets a larger diameter. But the part that developed before stays the same, so it's wider at the top. – J. Musser Mar 15 '15 at 12:10
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    Well, possibly you're right, need to feel and see it, but I still reckon its come out of a pot and not been buried properly... only the owner can tell which it is. Either way, I'd still try to dig most of it out. – Bamboo Mar 15 '15 at 12:11
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    I was just noting that, because if it is a woody crown, you don't want to bury it when you replant. Shall I ask the OP to take a look? – J. Musser Mar 15 '15 at 12:14

protected by Community Mar 18 '15 at 3:35

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