How to quickly get rid of moss and lichen on fruit trees

 How to quickly get rid of moss and lichen on fruit trees

Moss and lichen are ideal breeding grounds for pathogenic bacteria and parasites. The appearance of moss provokes a deterioration in fruiting, as well as drying out and death of tree branches. At the same time, it is impossible to fight them with chemicals after the buds have blossomed on the tree, since this may cause the plant to die. But there are alternatives.

Wooden scraper

For mechanical treatment of plants, you can use a pre-disinfected wooden scraper. For the same purpose, you can use a brush or old burlap. Before cleaning, place a film or paper at the roots of the tree so that moss and lichen do not get on the soil. Carefully remove the layer of growths, avoiding damage to the healthy bark. After that, it is necessary to treat the plant with a preparation containing copper.

A 5% solution of copper sulfate at the rate of 50 grams per liter of water is well suited.

Cover the tree trunk and skeletal branches with the product. If deep cracks have formed on them, cover them with a paste of clay and manure in equal proportions. It is recommended to burn the removed mosses and lichens.


A good option for sanitation would be a solution of ferrous sulfate. For 10 liters of warm water, you will need 300 grams of the product. It is necessary to treat the trunk and skeletal branches of the plant with the solution. Moss and lichen will disappear under the influence of the drug. If growths remain in some places, they must be removed mechanically, after which local treatment of these areas should be carried out.

Soda ash

100 grams of soda ash must be diluted in 7 liters of water. The resulting solution is recommended to process the resulting growths. Apply the preparation on them with a brush, abundantly wetting the surface of the plants.

After a while, the symbiotes will dry out and fall off on their own.

After 10 days, the treatment must be repeated. This remedy works best on lichen-affected apple trees.

Slaked lime

With a slight damage to plants, a solution is prepared based on slaked lime. So, for 0.5 liters of boiling water, 600 grams of the product will be needed. In parallel with this, it is necessary to mix 400 grams of sulfur with 1.5 liters of water. The solutions should be mixed and then treated with tree trunks.You should not use such a drug to treat young trees. In other cases, the composition lasts until spring. Whitewashing is also used to prevent the appearance of growths; for this, the trunks are covered with a solution in dry weather or in early spring.

Laundry soap, ash and salt

This disinfectant is prepared using laundry soap. First you need to dissolve a kilogram of salt in 10 liters of hot water. Then you need to add two pieces to the workpiece, i.e. 200 grams of laundry soap, grated on a coarse grater, as well as 2 kg of ash. The drug should be infused for about an hour. Then use a wide brush to cover the trunks and branches with the product.

Polypores, mosses, lichens - uninvited guests of the garden

In publications for gardeners not too often attention is paid to such "guests" of our gardens as tinder fungi, mosses and lichens. And nevertheless, one should know these representatives of the plant kingdom, understand the degree of their danger to fruit trees and be able to deal with them.

Mosses and lichens - uninvited and unwanted guests in the garden

General information about moss

About 20,000 species are united in 120 families of bryophytes. Most of them do not grow taller than 5 cm, but there are also giants - asleep reaches seven meters in length. Moss does not have roots. They attach to their habitat by small outgrowths, similar to root hairs - rhizoids. They also absorb moisture. Mosses do not bloom or set seeds. They reproduce by spores, which are easily carried by the wind, streams of rain, and move to a new habitat on the legs of insects. Mosses are able to reproduce vegetatively - a small patch can give rise to a new colony.

Advice! Fashionable moss gardens should not be created near fruit trees, they can easily infect them.

The dense structure of mosses not only accumulates moisture well, but also serves as a kind of filter, cleansing the air from various contaminants. They are very resilient and easily adapt to any habitat.

To exist, they need:

  • a lot of moisture
  • lack of light.

There are exceptions that grow in dry and well-lit areas. Mosses live in all climatic zones.

Is it necessary to save trees from lichen

You can often hear the statement that the lichen overgrowth of the bark indicates the trouble of the tree, because it most often settles on old and diseased branches. In fact, it also exists on young branches, lichens just grow for a long time: until they populate, until they germinate. These mosses quickly cover various surfaces. The annual growth rate of lichens is only 1 to 5 mm. So, there are “growths” on young branches, too, they just are not so noticeable yet.

Many gardeners also fear that conditions are created under wet lichens that promote the development of fungi that provoke pathologies. "Living growths" behave like sponges: they instantly absorb moisture, but after the rain stops, they quickly become dry. Therefore, it is wrong to compare them with wet compresses. Many people say that trees that have moss or lichen are resistant to frost damage and sunburn.

All that is indicated by the increased "hairiness" of trees is their advanced age and ecological situation. Lichens are natural indicators of air quality. If you walk through the forest, you will certainly notice that the trunks of old trees are covered with gray moss. Walking through the city park, you will hardly be able to find such a picture.

Due to the fact that scientists did not immediately understand that lichens indicate the health of the forest, there was confusion about the origin of the name of these strange organisms. They received their Russian name for their visual similarity with skin diseases - lichen.

However, gray growths on the bark have long been considered a manifestation of tree lichen, until it turned out that their presence in the forest, on the contrary, indicates that the plants are doing well here.

The main ways to prevent and control lichen include the following activities. It is advisable to take care of most of them in the fall, but some can be done in the spring, before the buds begin to bloom.

  1. As a prevention of the appearance of lichens, in early spring, treat the trunks of fruit trees with a solution of copper sulfate (for pears and apples, 5% composition, for plums and cherries - 3.5%).
  2. In spring and autumn, whitewash the trunks and the main skeletal branches of trees (3 kg of quicklime and 150 g of copper sulfate are diluted in 10 liters of water).
  3. If the tree is quite young and its bark is not yet sufficiently roughened, use a nylon bristle brush. Thoroughly clean all lichen from trunks and branches with it.
  4. Prune trees regularly, while treating the resulting wounds with garden pitch.
  5. Make sure that there are no large cracks and other damage on the fruit trees, treat such places in a timely manner.
  6. Scrape off the lichen, break off heavily infected branches without regret. After the procedure, thoroughly treat the tree with a highly concentrated solution of ferrous sulfate (100 g of ferrous sulfate per 10 liters of water).

Monitor the health of your fruit trees, and they will surely thank you with a good harvest.

© Ilya Vladimirovich | 2015-06-17
Amateur gardener

Other diseases of the cortex


Many gardeners have encountered brown spots that suddenly appeared on apple fruits, foliage and young shoots. All this is characteristic of scab - a rather dangerous disease of fruit trees, which is caused by a fungus.

This disease spreads en masse in June-July after heavy rains. At first, the fungus on the tree appears as translucent, as if from oil, spots on the foliage. Gradually, they turn gray and are covered with a brown bloom. The leaves dry up and fall off.

Other signs of scab are gray and black spots on apples, cracking of the fruit that stops pouring. Also, apples are deformed with early infection by a fungal infection. They are deformed, made one-sided.

Young ovaries often crumble. Apple orchards are more susceptible to scab infestation than others. Usually trees are planted here too densely or weakened old apple trees are kept.

Fungus, black cancer

To save the planting from primary infection with fungal spores, on spring days, before the leaves appear, it is necessary to spray the soil and trees with pesticides.

  • copper sulfate,
  • nitrafen, which is diluted at the rate of 300 grams per bucket of water,
  • or 1% DNOC.

At the end of April, trees need to be treated with Bordeaux liquid (3-4%), copper oxychloride or cuproxate.

During the formation of buds, as well as after flowering, a less concentrated Bordeaux liquid (1%) is used.

How is scab on an apple tree treated in summer? 3-5 weeks after flowering, the trees are sprayed with suspensions of zineb, captan, phthalan.

To prevent infection of apple trees next year, it is necessary to remove fallen leaves as soon as leaf fall ends, and plow the soil under the trees.

Powdery mildew

Speaking about pests of apple trees and treatment, powdery mildew should also be mentioned.

After prolonged rains, a silvery bloom may appear on the newly opened leaves and inflorescences of apple trees.

This is a sign of powdery mildew damage to trees. Its appearance is provoked by a fungus that hibernates in the buds of infected shoots and actively develops with the arrival of summer in dry weather.

The danger of powdery mildew is that it can dry out the foliage and inflorescences of apple trees, the shoots can stop growing, and the ovaries can crumble.

From early spring and throughout the growing season, it is necessary to cut off apple shoots infected with the fungus.

When the tree has faded, it needs to be sprayed with Hom.

After harvesting, the apple tree is treated with iron or copper sulfate.

Instead of these funds, you can use 1% Bordeaux liquid.

After collecting the fallen foliage after processing, it is burned.

Useful properties of moss on trees

Moss was one of the earliest plants on Earth. Its age is nearly three hundred million years. There are many types of moss. There are so many of them, and they are so diverse that in botany there is a whole section devoted to the study of mosses - bryology.

Moss can grow everywhere, in any climatic zone. With temporary adverse changes in the environment, the moss takes on a state of suspended animation. When conditions change for the better for him, his life processes are restored.

Some experts believe that moss and lichen growing on trees are talking about the clean air of the environment. Japanese scientists, for example, conducted an experiment and determined that moss is not only a natural bioindicator that reacts to air pollution and the amount of moisture in it. Since moss uses water and nutrients from the environment where it grows for its growth, it is also a wonderful air purifier from various pollutants. Depending on changes in the ecosystem, it changes its appearance and growth rate, and under especially unfavorable conditions it can die completely.

A thick layer of moss has the ability to accumulate and retain radioactive particles.

It is believed that trees covered with moss or lichen do not suffer from frost damage and sunburn.

At the same time, the appearance of moss on the bark of a tree may indicate a disease of the latter, and this is worth paying attention to. On an old or diseased tree, bark growth slows down or stops altogether, and such a surface is even more suitable for the growth of moss and lichen.

These plants are not considered to be parasitic, they feed on moisture trapped in the bark. In the absence of moisture, mosses dry up, but when it appears, they begin to grow again. They do not harm trees, since they grow only on the surface of the bark, without penetrating deep into the trunk.

How to deal with moss and lichen on the trees?

Are lichens dangerous for trees, and in particular for fruit trees? What role do they play and why do they appear?
These organisms simply live on the bark of trees, not being directly parasites, but nevertheless causing certain harm to plants.

In addition to the fact that lichen, like moss, is a great place for pests to hide in trees, they also slow down plant growth, since they do not allow the tree to breathe at full strength. In addition to pests, spores of fungal diseases are often found in lichen and moss. And this is another reason why it is necessary to fight this scourge.
First, let's look at conditions and reasons for the appearance of lichen on a tree.

First, unicellular algae usually appear on tree trunks - the most harmless ones. However, this serves as an indicator that not everything is in order with the plant. Where does algae appear on the trunk and branches? Everyone knows that algae live in water. But not everyone knows that many of them have perfectly adapted to live on land, albeit in damp places. So, green streaks on tree trunks are the same algae that have adapted to terrestrial conditions. They develop more strongly from the northwest - the shady side of the plant trunk, where the humidity is higher and there is no direct sunlight. The appearance of algae is a sure sign that the plantings in the garden are thickened, and under the crowns of trees it is dark and damp. To combat them, in addition to cleaning the trunks, it is very useful to cut out unnecessary, unproductive branches, thereby improving the illumination and ventilation of the crowns.

Further, following algae, various lichens begin to appear on the trunks of plants in the form of crusts, rosettes, less often bushes of gray, green, orange, brown and other colors and shades.

Lichen is not a single plant, but a group of primitive organisms, which is a symbiosis of fungi with algae, coexisting together where they cannot live separately. The fungus protects the algae from drying out, supplies it with water and mineral salts. And she, in turn, supplies him with photosynthetic products, mainly sugar, which the mushroom itself cannot produce. Lichens have no roots, so they cannot parasitize on a tree (feed on its juices), they only need a tree for support. But, nevertheless, lichens are very harmful to plants. The fact is that the entire trunk and branches of trees are covered with small and sometimes large lenticels, through which plants breathe. Settling on the trunk, lichens cover them, thereby disrupting the process of tree respiration. In addition, as mentioned earlier, insect pests often settle in the thalli. This is the main reason why fight lichens and moss in trees.

It should also be borne in mind that lichens appear only on weakened plants. So if you find them in your garden, look for the reason for the poor condition of the trees. There can be many of them, but most often the oppression of plants causes flooding of the roots by closely located (closer than 1.5 m from the surface of the earth) groundwater. Apple trees, and even more so pears cannot stand it. Their root system partially dies off, the tree weakens.

But there is good news as well. The appearance of a lichen indicates that the summer cottage or estate is located in an ecologically clean place, since the lichen does not tolerate air pollution.Lichens are an indicator of the purity of the air, they settle where it is rich in oxygen and contains a minimum amount of harmful substances. "

However, after the lichen, real parasitic fungi (obligate parasites) settle on tree trunks - these are various types of rust and other microscopic pathogenic fungi. They cause direct harm to trees, feeding on their sap, so a constant fight is necessary with them.

Ways to deal with lichen in trees

1. To do this, you need to make a very simple device - a wooden scraper. It is wooden, since metal can seriously damage the healthy wood of a plant. It is better to remove lichen or moss from trees in the spring, as the trees contain a sufficient amount of moisture at this time, which enters the moss, and it is easier to remove it. Under each affected tree, spread plastic wrap or tarpaulin and scrape off the peeling bark on them, and with it all uninvited residents, including eggs, pupae and adults of various insect pests. You need to scrape off to healthy wood, then treat this place with 1-3% iron sulfate or cover with a solution of lime. It is useful to spray the ground under the tree with a solution of urea (a matchbox on a bucket of water).

2. In late autumn, when the lichen on trees has more conditions for reproduction, it is necessary to perform preventive whitewashing of the main skeletal branches and tree trunks. If there are too many trees, then you need to whitewash, at least the trees cured of lichen and those adjacent to them. At the end of winter, it is very advisable to whitewash again.
For whitewashing, take 2-3 kg of lime, 1 kg of clay, a little mullein per 10 liters of water, and add 100 -150 g of copper sulfate or table salt. You can buy ready-made whitewash for trees in the store. A little secret of experienced gardeners: in order for the whitewash to adhere better to the bark of the tree, add 1-2 glasses of skimmed milk to it.
This operation is unnecessary for young trees.

3. The best option in the fight against lichens on fruit and shrub plants spraying with a 7 - 10% solution of ferrous sulfate (300 - 500 g per 10 liters of water) in the spring in the phase of dormant buds is. Important: the previously dry preparation should be thoroughly mixed in a small amount of hot water, and then, adding cold water, bring to the required volume. This is a contact drug, it does not accumulate in plant tissues. After a week, lichens and mosses should fall off on their own. Do not forget to also cultivate the land under the trees: iron sulfate is an excellent means of preventing other diseases of fruit trees.

4. If the garden trees are not heavily covered with lichen, then you can use an easier cleaning method: mix 1 kg of salt, 2 kg of wood ash, chop 2 pieces of laundry soap into this mixture, pour 10 liters of hot water, bring to a boil, cool and brush the resulting composition of tree trunks.
If lichens appear on trees periodically, then you can also use the ready-made prophylactic antifungal drug Skor (or similar). It must be diluted in accordance with the instructions and applied to the tree in early spring in one of the previously described ways.

5. Also, if there is not a lot of lichen on the tree, as well as to prevent its appearance, it is recommended to spray the trunks and branches with milk of lime: 1 kg of lime per 10 liters of water. If it rains after spraying the plants, the treatment should be repeated.

If your garden is heavily neglected and almost all trees are covered with lichen and moss, then before cleaning, you need to do sanitary felling. Some trees can be so affected by lichen growth that it is no longer useful to clean them.

Examine each tree carefully: it is possible that selective pruning of branches can be dispensed with. In general, it is recommended to do continuous thinning pruning of garden trees so that the crowns will not thicken. This will favorably affect the additional flow of air and light: in such a garden there will be no high humidity and, accordingly, excessive growth of mosses and lichens.

When removing lichen, you need to remember that pathogens can also be found in the root zone of the tree. Therefore, around it you need to collect and remove fallen leaves.

Watch the video: Tree Fungus and Moss