How to Treat Fungus and Algae Growth on Trees

Following extended periods of rain, it is common to find strange, blob-like growths on your tree bark. These growths can develop overnight, and appear in an array of colors and textures; most often, furry and filmy, in colors like greens, whites, or yellows. So what are these odd globules on your beloved landscaping trees?

Well, they are called tree lichens, and they are basically harmless to the tree and surrounding environment, however, they are generally deemed unattractive, which is why you may be interested in removing and preventing them from coming back. Continue reading to learn more about tree lichens, including causes, treatments, and prevention strategies.

Indianapolis Tree Service 317-783-2518
Indianapolis Tree Service 317-783-2518

Tree Lichens

Tree lichens are unique because they are actually two organisms in one: fungus and algae. These two organisms form a symbiotic, or mutually-beneficial, relationship. The fungus collects moisture, which the algae needs to survive, while the algae uses photosynthesis to convert the sun’s energy into food, which the fungus need to survive. Why are they harmless? Because their rhizines, which are similar to roots, are not capable of penetrating the bark deep enough to disrupt the tree’s health.

How to Remove It

To get rid of tree lichens, you will need a soft bristled brush, mild dish soap, clean water, and gloves. Use gentle pressure to scrub the lichens off of the bark, first dipping the brush into your batch of clean water and mild dish soap. Allow the bark to dry completely. You may also have your trees sprayed with a copper-sulfate solution or a lime sulfur solution. However, these methods only destroy fungus, so they should only be applied in late spring when weather is warmer.

How to Prevent It

The best method for preventing tree lichens is to implement environmental modifications that make your trees a less suitable target for fungus and algae growth. Tree lichens growth in cool, moist settings; so change these conditions and tree lichens will be a thing of the past. Furthermore, you can thin the canopy of your trees to incorporation more sunlight. Also, if you have an automated sprinkler system, be sure that it is not reaching your tree bark.

Indianapolis Tree Service You Can Trust

Call Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for experienced tree service in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. We offer a wide range of residential and commercial tree services, including tree removal, tree trimming, stump grinding, stump removal, lot clearing, and more. If you want professional and efficient service you can trust, Complete Tree Care is the right call!