Ferneries Take Hit from Hurricanes

Ellen C. Wells

The ferneries just north of Orlando, who supply nearly all of the U.S.’s cut foliage products, took a hit again. You’ll recall they suffered severely from last year’s Hurricane Matthew, with estimates for that storm at around 90% or higher. Jana Register of the Fern Trust put early estimates of damage from Irma at about 70% to 75%. With more than a day of sustained hurricane winds, they again have structural damage to their shade cloth ferneries and many of the oak hammocks that provide shade to underlying fields were destroyed.

She said all cut foliage crops suffered losses and supplies will be dramatically impacted for months to come. They won’t know the full impact right away as crops begin to either recover or show signs of damage. But the one good thing about Matthew is that they learned some valuable lessons, which the cut foliage industry will use as they proceed forward in their recovery. So keep in mind to be patient and understand where any price increases might be coming from when you place cut foliage orders. GP