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View Full Version : Is this scale? - picture


bob
11-24-2009, 02:22 PM
This looks like scale to me, but I'd like a second opinion.

Kevin M.
11-24-2009, 02:28 PM
Nope not scale its actually lichens on the trunk of the tree and wont hurt the tree either

VARMIT COMMISSION
11-24-2009, 03:12 PM
I agree with Kevin M. It's harmless.

Ric
11-24-2009, 05:28 PM
Yes it is lichens, which is an air breathing plant that is only on the tree for support. But it sets up the correct environment for algae to grow under it, which will hurt the bark and Kill the tree after many years. It should be treated with Copper Sulfate.

gunsnroses
11-24-2009, 10:33 PM
You may consider drip irr. if it has sprays or rotors. You also have two crosser branches I see that may need to come out. More light and air and no overhead water may help it in the future. like Ric said about the algae...them two have a simbiosis style love connection. You may just be able to wait til its dry and rub it off with steel wool or metal brush on a handle or drill. normally it grows rather slow.

Kevin M.
11-25-2009, 10:54 AM
Ric your right on with that and I also forgot to mention about phytophora root rot will break out in this tree since the lichens are growing on it and when they appear the plant doesnt dry out.

Is this a yew or some type of yew plant ?

Ric
11-25-2009, 12:06 PM
You may consider drip irr. if it has sprays or rotors. You also have two crosser branches I see that may need to come out. More light and air and no overhead water may help it in the future. like Ric said about the algae...them two have a simbiosis style love connection. You may just be able to wait til its dry and rub it off with steel wool or metal brush on a handle or drill. normally it grows rather slow.

Gunsnroses

Why not just Cut it off with a chain saw????? You couldn't do too much more damage with a Chain Saw than a power wire wheel or steel wool.

Lichen is a Epiphyte or air breathing plant which Algae, Spanish Moss and Bromeliads and even Orchids are also part of. However Lichen and algae are single cell organisms that live in groups if the environment is right. Any time you see Algae growing on a plant, it should be chemically treated right away with Cooper Sulfate. It should be retreated until in turns a darker color to show control. It is best not to try and Mechanically remove it because it attaches itself to bark and removing it is removing the Bark.

Kevin M.
11-25-2009, 02:50 PM
LOL Ric I was thinking maybe use a jackhammer

gunsnroses
11-25-2009, 04:27 PM
http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FSA-7554.pdf
http://www.walterreeves.com/landscaping/article.phtml?cat=10&id=437

Go ahead and email the university of arksnsas and walterreeves and tell them they are wrong as well. I did not say take all the bark off....lichen is paper thin and not difficult to remove.

phasthound
11-25-2009, 05:35 PM
At first I thought that maybe lichens were possibly harmful in the south. Here in the northeast they are not. But after reading the websites posted, I am confused about the need to control lichens.

These quotes are from those websites:
NOT HARMFUL Since lichens are almost always found on weak plants, do lichens cause the plants to become sick? In fact, lichens are totally harmless and in no way responsible for the poor state of any tree or shrub. They are simply indicators of the infirm health of the plant. As a woody plant loses vigor, the number and size of its leaves gradually decrease. This allows more sunlight on the trunk and lower branches. As soon as enough light is available on the bark, lichens begin to colonize it.

If lichens are unsightly to you, the best way to reduce their numbers is to increase the health of the plant.Control in the home landscape is usually not
necessary. If lichens become too unsightly or abundant, they can usually be brushed off stems or tree trunks with a stiff brush when the lichens are dry

So, why are they of concern down there?

Think Green
11-25-2009, 06:12 PM
Believe it or not, lichen is actually beneficial to humans for several reasons. First, they are sensitive to air pollution and are commonly used by researchers to determine the air quality of a region. If lichen thrives in your neighborhood, it's a good indicator of quality air. Some lichens make nitrogen in the air more available to other plants. People eat some lichens but remember a few of them are poisonous! Lichen can also be used to make dye for coloring wool.

It is usually not necessary to treat plants to control lichen. The best practice is to keep landscape plants healthy and growing vigorously. However, for trees and shrubs that lose their leaves in winter (including fruit and nut), tribasic copper sulfate may be used at the rate of 4 teaspoonfuls per gallon of water to remove unwanted lichens. Add a spreader sticker to the spray mix and avoid contact with evergreen plants. Remember to always follow label directions when applying pesticides.
It is a funny symbiotic organism that is good and bad according to what rhelm we are talking about. I was educated that the lichen also indicate plant hosts that are not growing, therefore the surface can be covered with these vectors like barnacles on a non moving vessel. These lichen are usually the same organism that is found on dead woody material and live woody material just the same. If the customer is complaining about them and no other tree in the landscape has been consumed by the lichen then treat them with the Copper Sulfate at the label directions.

Ric
11-25-2009, 06:42 PM
You may consider drip irr. if it has sprays or rotors. You also have two crosser branches I see that may need to come out. More light and air and no overhead water may help it in the future. like Ric said about the algae...them two have a simbiosis style love connection. You may just be able to wait til its dry and rub it off with steel wool or metal brush on a handle or drill. normally it grows rather slow.

Gunsnroses

Steel Wool or Metal brush on a hand drill is NOT what I consider a stiff Brush. Any thing harder than Bark which is soft compared to metal, will cause Abiotic damage to the Tree or Plant.

While U of Ark claims Lichen is not harmful the Symbiotic Relation is Between the Lichen and Algae NOT the tree. Lichen is a parasite in the fact it offers nothing to the Tree, but takes Support from it. Lichen also has a Symbiotic with Algae which does eat into bark and destroys it over a long period of time. I really don't care what some PhD sitting behind a desk said Algae won't hurt Bark. I see it happening in the field several times a week. Now I will admit my Climate being Semi Tropical is more conducive to Fungal growth.

ted putnam
11-25-2009, 09:33 PM
I thought it only grew on the North side of trees. I suggest you dig the whole thing up and face it the opposite direction. It'll take awhile, but that should control the problem... on that side anyway

Ric
11-26-2009, 10:12 AM
I thought it only grew on the North side of trees. I suggest you dig the whole thing up and face it the opposite direction. It'll take awhile, but that should control the problem... on that side anyway

Ted

Lichen is seen most often on Citrus Trees in my area. It does grow 360 degrees around the Trunk and on many of the limbs. SOP for Commercial Citrus Groves is to blanket treat for Lichen and fungus at least every 3 years with a strong Copper Sulfate using air Blasters to insure full coverage. Kocide is the product of choice and comes in 50 pound bags of powder material which is mixed with water and sticker.

Slow Dog

Epiphyte of all kinds do weaken plants and cause mortality. First they Inhibit air flow and shady sunlight. Secondly they set up a dark moist environment for fungus to grow. Of course there is a threshold that takes time to be reached before treatment become necessary. Because of the sub tropical climate of my area. (BTW it is 82 degrees here today and almost Dec) Fungus and Insect pressure is greater than those living in the frozen North lands. Many of our thick bush type shrubs have bark fungus issues that take years to cause plant Mortality. Add in 55 inches of rain per year and 90% Humidity and you can understand why I have strong feeling about this.

WORD OF CAUTION

Cooper Sulfate can cause irreversible Eye Damage and Eye protection should always be used when applying Cooper sulfate.