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.

Related Blog Posts

What Causes Ganoderma Root Rot
Insect & Disease Issues

Ganoderma Root Rot Treatment

“Ganoderma root rot” is a fungus that causes a wood-decaying infection that occurs through tree wounds, and attacks a variety of deciduous trees, such as maples, oaks, and honey locusts, as well as ashes, elms, and some conifers as well as palms. Here are symptoms and signs.
Read More
Pest And Disease Center Diplodia Tip Blight Sideimage2 608X341
Insect & Disease Issues

Diplodia Tip Blight On Pines

Diplodia fungus causes the tips of your pine needles to turn brown and mostly occurs during the growing season from March through October. Ways to treat diplodia tip blight is first by keeping your pine and evergreens healthy and properly irrigated throughout the year. Learn more.
Read More

Sign Up For Free Tree & Landscaping Tips! 

Subscribe to the "The Sapling," the Davey Blog's email newsletter, for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Plus, receive a free instant download of our landscape seasonal checklists when you sign up!

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential, commercial, utility, or environmental needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!

Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. View our Privacy Policy for more information.