Is green moss on trees harmful?

 In Inexpensive Tree Care Blog

Green moss on treesFinding moss growth on trees is highly common in Washington and Oregon because of our rainy, wet climate. A common question that homeowners ask us is whether moss on trees is dangerous to tree health. While the short answer is no, the extra weight moss lays upon on older trees can weaken their stability in windy storms and hide potential tree diseases from view.

What causes green moss on trees?

Collectively known as lichens, algae and moss, this green growth arises because the environmental conditions allowed for it. Moss thrives in damp, dark areas, so regions covered by shadows or consistent cloud cover are more susceptible to moss growth. In addition, moss tends to prefer to grow on older trees with less vitality than younger trees.

While green moss on trees isn’t necessarily harmful, it can contribute to a myriad of potential problems. Thick moss growth on trees is heavy and can throw trees off balance. This may make for dangerous conditions during windy storms and other inclement weather. In addition, because moss grows more thickly on older trees, this can make it difficult to notice potential health problems like disease and tree death.

Green moss on trees: Prevention tips

So, what is there to do when there’s green growth covering your beloved trees? To prevent an excess amount of moss growing on your trees in the Pacific Northwest, there are a number of do-it-yourself strategies you can try:

  • More direct sunlight: Pruning your trees to focus more direct sunlight to the trunk and major branches can help keep moss growth under control. Your goal is to aim for those leafy branches that are covering the base of the tree in shadow.
  • Avoid standing water in the yard: You can aerate your lawn to remove large puddles of water around the base of the tree. This will discourage moss growth by cutting off its supply of readily available water.
  • How to remove moss: You can either remove moss from trees by hand, which can be time-consuming, or you can powerwash it off during certain times of the year. Read more about how to remove moss here.

Inexpensive Tree Care is committed to providing quality tree services, from tree trimming to improving tree health and stump removal. Contact us to learn straight from the experts about how to improve the long-term health of your trees in the Pacific Northwest. 

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