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Green spots on tree trunk or branches? Learn how to identify fungus on your tree and how to treat it.

What Are These Green Spots on My Tree’s Trunk or Branches?

May 8, 2018

We're used to shades of green growing all around us in a healthy landscape. Our yards beam with Kelly green grass and tree leaves dazzle in every shade of green.

But something about swathes of green on tree trunks and branches doesn't seem right.

Find out why frothy green growth is speckling your tree’s branches and what you should do about it.

Green “Fungus” on Tree Branches? Tree Bark “Fungus” Identification and Treatment

Algae, moss and lichens are the three main types of green growth that can appear on tree branches and trunks. All look similar at first glance but have a few subtle distinctions. See which your tree has below.

Tree Bark “Fungus” Identification

Algae, moss and lichens aren't harmful to trees, so don't fret if you spot any of their green growth. They're all-natural organisms, that are not actually fungi, that crop up on trees and lots of other plants.

Here's how to tell them apart:

  • Algae appear in moist weather and look like a dusty powder on tree wood.
  • Moss pops up no matter the weather and feels thick and coarse.
  • Lichens are a cross between algae and fungi. They're crusty, circular patches (pictured right).

Why You Have a Green “Fungus” on Tree Branches

Algae, moss and lichen growth don’t tell us much about our trees. . They’ll generally grow anywhere the conditions are right.

But while you’re out there, give your tree a closer look. See if your tree is getting enough water, has enough mulch and even see if there are any other signs of a pest/disease on your tree.

Every tree benefits from regular health check-ups to make sure its healthy!

How to treat fungus on tree bark

Because lichens, moss and algae don’t do any harm, the best thing you can do is let them be! That’s what our arborists at Davey do because they’re just another addition to the natural landscape that we get to enjoy!

But if you really want to remove them because they bring down the look of your tree, do so carefully because you can harm the tree in the process. Try carefully peeling them off by hand or lightly scraping the green off. You want to avoid removing too many layers of the tree’s bark.

Ready to boost your tree’s health? Make sure it’s getting enough water with this trick.

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