Fastest growing of the fairly hardy tree ferns (to 27F, but with damage to fronds). To an eventual 20 ft. tall, 12 ft. wide. Starts out as a low, wide clump (can spread from 1 ft. to as much as 6 ft. in a year) before growing upward. Broad, bright green, finely cut fronds. Brownish hairs on leafstalks and leaf undersurfaces can irritate skin; wear long sleeves, hat, and neckcloth when grooming plants. Often sold as Alsophila australis, A. cooperi, or Sphaeropteris cooperi.
Wet down the fronds and trunk on dry days in summer and autumn. Every spring, cover the base with a few inches of organic fertilizer, such as garden compost or aged cow manure. Prune off old frondsbut not until new ones emerge. Where plant is not hardy, grow in large container and bring indoors to your brightest window for winter. Mist fronds and trunk daily; never let soil dry out. Don't feed with liquid fertilizer; instead, feed monthly with a balanced, controlled-release fertilizer, such as 14-14-14.