I took this photo underneath the canopy of a very large tree fern last year in Cuba. In hindsight I realize that while the area was mountainous, the lower landscape was quite hot and dry. Some lower areas were tree-filled and lush, but when I look back on pictures it is apparent that the region was primarily scrubby grassland.
The only explanation I have for the success of a tree fern in this particular spot is that it was a part of a tended garden. Someone watered it daily!
On a previous trip to Cuba we saw tree ferns growing in the mountains but it has taken me this long to work out that tree ferns, being ferns, most likely prefer cooler, shadier, and moist locations. Duh!
Dominica on the other hand has a lot of rain forest. I expect to see several tree ferns growing wild up in the mountains. Exciting!