Look out for tuber ladder fern

Publish Date : 07 Jun 2017
Tuber ladder fern

It may look like a harmless native fern, but tuber ladder fern can take over your garden, crowding out other plants.  

This fern is upright with underground potato-like tubers and has fronds that grow more than 80cm long, each with serrated leaflets.

This imposter is not to be confused with the rare native ladder fern, which looks similar but has narrower fronds that only grow to 65cm and no tubers.

The good news is tuber ladder fern is easy to kill. 

“Simply dig it out, removing all the tubers,” says Holly Cox, Senior Biosecurity Advisor for Plants.

“Put tubers and runners in landfill or green waste. You can leave other material on site to rot down, or put it in green waste. Check for regrowth in a few months.

“You can also use herbicide, ensuring you leave treated sites for three or four months to ensure tubers are killed before clearing or replanting. Take care with herbicide around tree trunks and desirable plants.”

Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/plantsearch to learn more.

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