Tree lichens are on numerous trees. They are usually considered either a frustrating pest or a fortunate blessing. Lichens on trees are harmless. Though, some people think lichens are hideous. Let’s look at what lichen on trees mean and what treatments are available. 

Tree Lichens Defined

Lichen on trees is a combination of two organisms — algae and fungus. 

Lichen on tree bark is harmless to a tree. The rhizines (roots) fasten too but don’t go deep enough to damage a tree in any way. Many folks think that if a tree gets sick and has lichen, the tree lichens are the reason for the illness. This statement is so untrue. The lichen was probably their way before the tree became ailing.

Tree Lichen Treatment

Even though lichen on tree bark is undamaging, a lot of people would love to learn a treatment to kill tree lichens.

One solution is to delicately scrub the bark of the tree with a soapy solution. Since the lichen is lightly attached, it should fall off easily. Be sure not to rub too hard. Scrubbing could harm the tree bark, opening the tree to pests and diseases. 

Another way to kill tree lichen is to use a copper-sulfate spray. Copper-sulfate destroys the fungus of the organism. You should only use a copper-sulfate spray in early fall or late spring. This treatment isn’t valid in cold weather.

Also, you can use lime sulfur to remove tree lichen. Lime sulfur kills the fungus that makes up half of the tree lichen. Make sure none of the lime sulfur treatment gets on the leaves or roots. This application could harm the tree. 

Possibly the best treatment for tree lichen is to alter the setting where the tree lichens are growing. Tree lichens thrive in sunny, moist, and cool locations. 

Trimming out tree branches in the canopy lets in more air, and the sun will help. If you have a sprinkler system, be sure it doesn’t water the area where the lichens are. You will be helping them to live. Call Lenoir Tree Service to get tree lichens out of your yard.