Moss on Trees: Is It a Problem?

Moss on Trees

You might expect standard tree services to include moss removal, so why is it so difficult to find an arborist to tackle this problem? Likely because moss isn’t really a problem.

Everyone has a different opinion about the look of moss, but increasingly it’s being seen for the natural beauty it is. Unlike vines, moss does absolutely no harm to trees. A lot of people consider it a beautiful accessory, making trees look like they’ve come straight out of a fairy tale, especially in cooler months when the branches would otherwise be bare.

However, you can remove this spongy green plant if you’d like.

Moss removal services aren’t often listed as a tree service, but you can get it done if you ask about it. You also can remove it yourself using a simple steel wool pad. It comes off easily, but know that it likely will come back. If you have moss on your trees, you live in a region that has at least some wet weather, and you can’t change the natural growth of this plant.

Types of Moss

If you’re surprised to hear that moss is actually a flowering plant, you’re not alone! It comes in all types, and one of the most common, Spanish moss, is actually a lovely blossoming plant in its own right.

Moss spores are everywhere in Utah, and they travel easily by wind. You might be fighting a losing battle if you aim to get rid of moss permanently.

For those who don’t like the look of it, here’s some good news: Some people will pay for your moss! It’s used for a variety of projects from moss graffiti to benefiting gardens.

Contrary to myth, moss is not a parasite and it won’t worsen seasonal allergies. Instead, it helps a garden retain moisture, kind of like mulch, but even better because you don’t need to replace it yearly and it’s a favorite home for good bugs.

What if I Still Want Tree Services to Remove It?

For best results, have any dead or damaged branches pruned first. This should be done on a regular basis regardless of your stance on moss.

You can remove the moss from slimmer branches by hand, but use a power washer for the trunk and thicker branches. Next, kill what’s left with a copper hydroxide fungicide, preferably right before rainfall so the copper can best access any remaining moss. This product is not harmful to the tree.

You’ll probably be left with some lingering pieces. After a few months, it should dry up and fall off, but if not you’ll need to repeat the process. It’s an endless cycle, which is why learning to love moss is a much easier alternative.

You’ll probably find that it’s well worth the effort to hire a tree service for this rather than take on this task yourself!

For more tips on tree services, like pruning and maintenance, contact Reliable Tree Care today.