blue gray fungus? on trees

kennebunker(5, s. ME)June 12, 2007

I don't know what the stuff is called, but it's commonly found on many trees around my house. It's sort of blue gray and flaky and covers the bark of trees.

The thing is, it's all over half of the branches on one azalea, and though the bush is growing, it looks terrible. Now I'm finding it on another one. I needed to trim the one shrub anyway, and cut most of those branches off, but I'd like to know if I can spray something to get rid of the stuff.

Anyone know what I'm talking about? what it is? how to get rid of it?

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What you have is probably a lichen and not a fungus. There are many lichens in Maine. I have them on Maple, Oak and Apple trees with no discernable harm in the Midcoast. This link should help you determine which lichen is on your Azalea and other shrubs

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Durham NH Field Office Publication

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 2:35PM
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Thanks for posting that, frontporch. Interesting. I love lichens, tho I don't know anything much about them. In fact, I encourage their growth by trying to keep things damp and spraying rocks with Miracle Gro--takes a long time but it seems to help. I don't know if lichens can become a problem to a plant, such as kennebunker reports, but hope someone has that answer.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 9:32AM
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kennebunker(5, s. ME)

Lichen.....I knew there was another word, just couldn't think of it, thanks.
I googled, seems that there's nothing that can remove it from trees and shrubs. It's not supposed to do any damage, but that azalea just looks ugly covered in the stuff.
I wound up pruning the shrub way back. It had gotten a bit lopsided anyway. I've forgotten the variety, it has lovely red blossoms. Its roots were damaged by mice or something one winter, or so I was told. Its twin failed to revive. I moved this one to another spot and it looked quite nice til it got lichenized.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 12:53PM
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