Lichens and mosses on a tree are always uncomfortable to watch. But contrary to popular belief, they are not parasites that would harm the trees. Nevertheless, if they are too present, it is better to remove them...
What are lichens and mosses?
Lichens and mosses belong to the category of plants called epiphyteswhich means that they can grow on other plants, without being harmful parasites. They are found mainly on fruit trees, on old trees or those that are withering.
Their presence does not harm the trees on which they grow because they do not enter the tree. Certainly, lichens and mosses can harbor fungi or insect larvae but they do not pose a danger to their "host".
On the other hand, lichens and mosses are of little interest. These are, in fact, particularly sensitive elements, especially copper and sulfur dioxide. If the trees are covered, it proves that the atmosphere is healthy, pollution free.
Why remove lichens and mosses?
Above all, it must be emphasized that it is not necessary to rid of lichens which line the trees. However, if they are too invasive on fruit trees in particular, it is quite possible to remove them.
How to remove lichens and mosses on a tree?
First, it is important to note that trees with bark that tend to exfoliate, such as birch, should not be brushed. Because, yes, the removal of lichens and mosses involve brushing! The operation is carried out during a dry day, outside the freezing period. In any case, the trunks must be perfectly dry.
In practice, it is necessary to use a brush with hard plastic bristles or rice straw brush. It is better to leave out accessories with metal bristles that are too aggressive. For proper cleaning, it is necessary to tackle not only the trunk, but also the branches and proceed from the top down (after impregnating the water brush). Brushing must be gentle so that the tree is not "injured".
Finally, the cleaning ends with a cut of dead wood. It also benefits to control the health of the tree. Depending on the findings, pruning of the branches can be done followed by repair of any wounds by applying healing sealant to protect the tree. In any case, do not use pesticides or fungicides that are very harmful to plants. Moreover, this type of toxic product should be banned by the year 2022 in any particular garden.