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Moss and lichen on the tree trunk: what to do, effective treatments and potential damage caused by mosses and lichens. Lichens as bioindicators.
With time,mosses and lichensthey tend to colonize the plant on which they settle. In particular ilichensthey can cause branches or other affected parts to dry out. That's when we can leave moss and lichen on the tree trunk and when these should be treated.
Moss on the tree trunk
Themossbelongs to the division ofBryophytes and to grow it needs a very humid environment. Themoss on the tree trunk, generally, it does not cause damage: moss is not a parasite, it carries out its own photosynthetic activity and has poorly developed roots and does not damage the bark.
Even if themossit is not harmful, it can cause indirect problems to the host plant because it canhost in turndifferent parasites. In case of parasitic attacks, it is good to remove themoss from the tree trunkbut this is not the only circumstance that requires removal.
Themossthat develops on the lawn or on plants with limited development can be suffocating, preventing the plant activities of the host plant. In this case, we refer you to the article"Moss on the lawn".
In summary:Should the moss on the trunk of a plant be removed?
No, moss should only be removed if the plant is sick or only if the moss thrives on very thinly developing herbs and plants such as garden lawns.
Lichen from tree trunks
THElichensthey can develop on the trunk of plants in the form of plaques, patinas, crusts… There are three groups of lichens which differ in different characteristics. These three groups are very different from each other and are:
- Crusty, plaque-like lichen
- Leafy lichens, similar to leaf blades
- Fruticose, tuft-like lichens
THElichensthey establish a symbiotic relationship with plants therefore like imosses, they are not parasites. THElichensuse thetrunkoftreesas a support on which to live, without sucking the sap or damaging the bark.
As well as for themosses, ilichensthey become harmful to the plant only when they thrive excessively and their development tends to suffocate the colonized plant. THElichensthey can completely cover a trunk and branches causing suffering and slow decay of the colonized part: the thinner branches, affected by the development of lichens, tend to dry out.
Eliminate moss and lichen from plants
How to eliminate lichens: all the information to eradicate mosses and lichens from plants.
A frequent mistake is to eliminatemosses and lichensby scraping.Avoid attempting to mechanically remove moss and lichen!When you try to scrape, you do nothing but favor the dispersion of the spores which determine a further development and spread ofmosses and lichens.
The most effective method of removingmosses and lichensfrom plants involves the use of copper-based fungicide products. Bordeaux mixture is one of the most used agricultural fungicides, even in organic farming. It is a product based on copper sulphate and calcium hydroxide: very useful for eliminating lichens and preventing their establishment.
The Bordeaux mixture must be diluted in water at the doses indicated on the purchase label and sprayed on the trunk and branches where they are locatedmosses and lichens. The treatment to eliminate moss and lichens must be performed between autumn and winter, that is, when the infested plant is in the dormant phase. Where to buy Bordeaux mixture? At your trusted retailer or by buying and selling online. Here is a useful link from Amazon: Bordeaux mixture, various purchase proposals.
Lichens as bioindicators
Lichens are important environmental indicators (bioindicators), in fact I am very sensitive to some pollutants such as sulfur dioxide. Lichens develop only in the presence of a relatively healthy environment: they tend to disappear in the presence of air pollution. Because of the sensitivity of thelichens, in recent years, with the increase in pollution, we are witnessing a progressive reduction of the species oflichens. The so-called "lichen desert" represents a dramatic condition from an environmental point of view because it indicates poor air quality.
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In the article, in order of appearance, there are images of fruticose lichens (similar to tufts), leafy lichens (similar to leaf blades) and crusty lichens (similar to plaques).