Native ferns, shrubs and deciduous trees are available now at no cost from your friendly Snoqualmie National Forest. Just get a free Transplant Permit from the Ranger Station in North Bend, grab your Forest Service Map, and take a short drive to dig out some beautiful specimens. The large Sword Ferns are particularly beautiful this year!
Each household is entitled to a Transplant Permit only once each year. And it’s only valid for a two week period so you may need to do a little planning. It’s best to transplant ferns in the fall after their growing season when it’s cool and rainy. Late October through November is a great transplanting time in our area. They’ll have a good chance to remain dormant over the winter and come back with gusto in the spring. And your Transplant Permit will allow you to harvest up to five (5) mature Sword Ferns this Fall!
In Wilderness Rim, sword ferns are our most versatile native plant. They are strong and beautiful in any landscaped or natural setting. We just can’t have enough of them. And it’s a lot of fun gathering these ancient treasures from the forest. Carefully dig them out completely intact and don’t cut off any of the long fern fronds. Put the root wad in a large yard waste bag or nursery pot (along with as much native soil as you can carry) and take them home. I found nice big ones this year on the uphill side of Tinkham Road about 3 or 4-miles in from I-90.
If you can spare any Ferns, I know a nice lady that wants to put a ton of them in that barren triangle (the Y) near the entrance to the Rim where the loop road splits. Her name is Ellen and she’ll put them all to very good use. Watch for her invitation to donate!