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Ottawa Tree Lichens and Moss

Lichens and mosses are two separate entities that can grow on trees and shrubs. Lichens have two or more organisms living together as one, called symbiosis. Mosses are non-flowering plants without a true root system.

Ottawa Arborists - Tree Lichens and MossMany people tend to think Lichen or Moss on their tree is a bad thing. The main reason for this is they are either misinformed by an unprofessional or they mistake it for fungus attacking the tree. They could not be more wrong! There are several kinds of Fungus and Moss that grow on the bark of many species of trees. Most times the Moss will be there as a result of a shady location that the tree is in, lack of airflow around the tree or constant exposure to moisture. Few Lichen tend to not be as selective and thrive quite well in different light exposed areas on branches as well as trunks of trees. Some Lichen do have a similar appearance as Fungus that may thrive on trees, however with better inspection close up it is apparent and easy to differentiate between the two. There are countless clients that call in a panic about the Lichen / Fungal misdiagnosis, and as simple as a picture and explanation clarifies the situation. The fungal fruiting bodies (mushrooms) that most people are thinking of are a result of decay or decayed material that the fungus is growing in and the mushroom on the outside is the reproductive part that is visible. Lichen are plant-like structures that use the tree as an anchoring point to live out its life; and does no harm to the tree itself. The only thing it may be guilty of is looking unsightly, and that leads people to mistake it for a tree Fungus.

Tree Lichens and Moss Gallery