Often mistaken for moss, tree lichen is the blue-green organism that grows on trees. Many people believe that a tree covered in lichen is an indication the tree is sick or dying. However, lichen is not harmful to trees. Lichen attaches to the tree bark but cannot penetrate deep enough to cause damage to the tree. But, did you know that tree trimming prevents some lichen growth? Read on for more information.

What Exactly is Lichen?

Tree lichen is made up of multiple organisms, such as fungus and algae, that exist in a mutually beneficial relationship called symbiosis. Fungus grows on the tree collecting moisture, which the algae needs. The algae, in return, feeds the fungus with food it creates from the energy of the sun.

Despite lichen being harmless, you may wish to remove it from your trees. Some find it unpleasant to look at as it expands and takes over most of the tree. There a few ways to get rid of lichen:

  1. Gently scrub the lichen off of your tree with a soap mixture. This should be easy to do as lichen is only attached very lightly to the bark.
  2. You may also spray the trees with copper-sulfate. The copper-sulfate will destroy the fungus in lichen. This solution works best in the warm seasons and is not effective in cool months.
  3. Applying lime sulfur will also kill the fungus in lichen. However, be careful when applying to avoid the roots and trees of the tree as lime sulfur can damage the tree.
  4. The best method to achieve long-term results is to trim tree limbs to allow more sunlight. Lichen grows in cool, partly sunny areas. Removing tree limbs in the right areas ensures the lichen won’t grow back.

Tree Trimming Services From Keil Tree Experts

Call the professionals at Keil Tree Experts to get more information about trimming your trees to avoid lichen growth. For those looking for tree trimming in Hunt Valley, Timonium, Towson or the Baltimore area, contact Keil Tree Experts. Our staff can handle any tree services you may need, and customer satisfaction is our top priority.

Some of the services offered by Keil Tree Experts include:

  • Tree pruning (safety pruning, fruit pruning, hedge & safety pruning)
  • Young tree training
  • Disease and insect management
  • Stump removal
  • Direct root fertilizing

Contact us today for a free estimate.