In addition to seasonal lawn care and the installation of new stone retaining walls, Apple Creek Landscaping provides tree services to our Wayne and Pike county clients.
Our crew can trim damaged limbs, shape ornamental specimens or entirely remove nuisance trees from your property.
The higher than average amounts of precipitation of 2017 & 2018 have created ideal growing conditions for lichen and moss growth. Many trees are waterlogged and have developed splits in their bark creating ideal conditions for lichen and moss to thrive. This is the yellow, gray & green growth you see on tree trunks and rocks.
Normally in Northeastern PA we see a flourish of growth in wet years, followed by a die-off when the weather is dry. We have had at least 8 seasons of higher than normal precipitation, so the die-off has not happened lately.
Lichen and moss are parasitic organisms that typically grow on trees that are already in poor health. When the trunks are covered with lichen growth it can further weaken the bark and leaves the trees susceptible to disease and pest infiltration.
There isn't much you can do to stop them once they are established on a tree. We have had success with a program of using stiff bristled broom and brushes to remove growths from tree trunks, then supporting the tree by applying compost tea to the root area monthly and spraying the tree with an organic fungicide. We have used this program on Japanese Dogwood and dwarf fruit trees that the owners really wanted to save.
This approach is not going to work on tree with hollows in the trunk or a large tree with limb damage. If the affected trees are far enough away from your house that letting them come down naturally won't cause any damage, you may want to let Mother Nature take care of it.
However, if you have a tree in your yard, close enough that it will land on your house, driveway or boat when it falls, you will want to think about having it removed.
Lichen is actually a symbiotic union of 2 or more separate organisms, usually algae and fungus. They, and mosses, can be beautiful and provide valuable services to our environment.
They help break down organic matter into components of soil. They also provide camouflaging cover to beneficial insects, like the larval stage of Green Lacewings.
Possibly the most important service they provide is absorbing pollutants from the air around us. The US Forest Service says they remove heavy metals, carbon and other pollutants from the air.