Tree lichens appear on numerous trees. They are considered an aggravating pest or a fortunate blessing. Lichens on trees are harmless and unique. Some, however, deem them to being unappealing. Let’s talk about what it means to have lichen on your tree bark means and what remedies are available to you.
What are Tree Lichens?
Lichens on trees are a distinct organism because they are a marriage between algae and fungus. The fungus grows on a tree and collects moisture, which the algae desire.
The algae, in return, create food from the sun’s energy which feeds the fungus. Lichen on trees is harmless to the tree. The rhizines (think tree roots) lets them attach, but don’t go deep enough to damage the tree in any way. Many folks feel that when a tree gets ill from having lichen, that the tree lichens are the reason for the illness. This isn’t possible. The lichen was most likely there long before your tree became ill.
While lichen on trees is harmless, some folks feel they aren’t pretty to look at and want to kill them. One way to get rid of lichen is to scrub the tree bark with a soapy solution. Lichen is lightly attached, so it comes off quickly. Don’t rub too hard. You can end up damaging the tree, making it susceptible to insects and disease.
Another technique for killing tree lichen is to spray the tree with copper-sulfate. Copper-sulfate applied on lichens on trees will destroy the fungus. You should use copper-sulfate as a remedy for tree lichen in early fall through late spring. This solution doesn’t work in cold weather.
Another chemical to use is lime sulfur. Also, lime sulfur is used to kill the fungus that is part of a lichen. Be sure that the lime sulfur is not put on the leaves and roots. This will damage the tree.
Do you have lichen on your trees? If you have it or believe you might, this is the time to contact a Syracuse arborist to find out. Once your tree has been diagnosed, you’ll get some practical solutions to remedy the problem.
We at Syracuse Tree Service want to help you with your tree service needs, our blog is where we provide helpful tips and ideas for the health of your trees.