Our church will soon begin an expansion project which will turn our 'fern garden' into a building. I'm looking for a source of information about identifying, transplanting, and caring for the current ferns. It looks like the project will being in a month or so and will continue for quite awhile - which means we won't be able to put the ferns into a 'permanent' place for a couple years. I'm sure these plants were part of the original landscape of the current building -- probably 55+ years ago. So we would really like to save them. Thanks for your help.
I think your best source for identification of these ferns may be Polk County Master Gardeners. They are available to answer questions Tuesday & Thursday from 0900-1200. The office is in Dallas at 289 E. Ellendale, Suite 301. You could bring in photos and/or fronds to assist them in helping you ID the ferns.
With respect to transplanting, the best time normally would be to transplant ferns after fall rains have begun and prior to the new fronds appearing in the spring. Looks like you are probably past that optimal window. However, if you still need to move them, try to dig up entire clumps and try to plant them in an area with a similar environment (moist soil with plenty of organic material). You may also need to remove a good portion of the fronds from each clump to reduce transplant stress and conscientiously ensure they have necessary water so that roots can try to get established in the new location. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch to help ensure moisture is retained.