Crepe Myrtle Question

alagard(alaz8)June 2, 2005

There is something growing an the bark of all my crepe myrtles. It's like a gray fungus stuff, some of it stands up from the bark and curls on the edges, and is kinda papery and some is just on the bark - not raised, some is balckish, some is greenish. And a couple of the trees don't look so good. Can anyone tell me without seeing a pic? Is it a symptom of something else, or a disease? What can I do? I sprayed them with a fungacide. Any info will be appreciated

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Datawgal(8/9 SC)

You gave us an excellent description of Lichen. This in itself will not hurt your Crepe Myrtle but it is an indication that the tree is under stress. Perhaps the soil stays too wet or maybe another problem with the roots???? Dig carefully around the root zone and see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. A soil test from your local extension office would be a good idea.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 6:19PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Crepe myrtles are well known for their attractive
exfoliating bark. THe bark peels off, and it's perfectly normal. You just described that process.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 9:32AM
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No, it's not the bark peeling off - I know what that looks like. I think it probably is the lichen and I have read that it usually grows on things that are already in trouble. Could grass growing right up to the trunks be a problem? That's the one thing they all have in common. I've been wanting my DH to cut it out around them - think I'll tell him that's the problem anyway 'cause I think it looks terrible. Also, a couple of the larger ones had a bad aphid infestation last year and developed the black mildrew. I did treat that successfully tho.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 9:59AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yes, tell him that the crape myrtle needs a nice layer of mulch around the base instead of grass! What did you use to get rid of the aphids?

By the way, the black sooty mold you described (a result of aphids), will grow on the trunks of your tree, as well as the lichen! It can make the whole plant look pretty miserable. Check for aphids again to prevent another outbreak.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 4:23PM
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What is Lichen on crepe myrtles?My trees have lost all lower bark which they always do some but underneath is a brown powdery stuff like brown dust on the tree itself????I've never had this before Help please...thanks

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:56PM
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From the description, I can now tell that my Crepe Myrtle trees have Lichen. However, they also have clumps of something growing on the bark that is difficult to describe. It pulls off easily, is dry, sort of light pea green in color, coarse feeling,and kind of looks like bunched up, stiff netting material that's cut all irregularly. (Sorry, that's the best I can describe it.) Given that "crystal clear" description, does anyone have any info / help?? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:35AM
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Rhoda, probably just a different kind of lichen or even reindeer moss.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 7:18AM
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