Return to the Moss, Ferns & Cryptogams Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Is this moss bad for my trees?

Posted by yeschet z8 FL (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 7, 05 at 14:09

Hello. I was hoping someone could tell me if this moss, growing in central Florida, was harmful to the trees. If so, is there any way to get rid of them?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this moss bad for my trees?

This is actually a lichen rather than a moss, and nope, it's not harmful. It's just growing on the bark of the tree, rather than being any kind of parasite.

Patrick Alexander

RE: Is this moss bad for my trees?

As Patrick said, no, but if they cover the branches and the leaves of the tree look smaller than normal, discolored, etc. then you may have a disease problem. Lichens will often colonize diseased bark and while they are not the specific cause of the problem, they can be an indicator there is a problem. This however not always the case. If your trees look happy, then there probably is no problem. I've seen overgrowth of lichens on diseased azaleas and crape myrtles, but not much else.

RE: Is this moss bad for my trees?

The common name for your lichen is Ball Moss, which is pretty unsightly as it thrives in declining trees and shrubs. Pay close attention to the overall health of your plants, try to invigorate them by pruning out dead branches, by mulching, and by some conservative fertilization in the Spring.

If I had a heavy infestation of Ball Moss (a relative to Spanish Moss...also not a moss, but a lichen), I'd remove them by hand or by clippers. Not because they are causing serious problems for the plant but because they are so darned big and homely. They are a real problem in nurseries.

RE: Is this moss bad for my trees?

Sorry rhizo1 that ain't ball moss, but a lichen. I've never seen problems with ball moss (except for its unsightliness), but occasionally spanish moss will overwhelm a smaller tree.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Moss, Ferns & Cryptogams Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here