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Question: What are these pretty green flower shaped growth spots? Will they damage the tree?

May 8, 2020
Lichens on the tree

Got Nature? BlogQuestion: Are these pretty green flower shaped growth spots lichens? It just appeared on my tree this year. With this type of fungus should I be worried that it could damage the tree?

Answer:
Lichen is common on trees and not bad either. Those grayish-green patches, come in all sizes and shapes and sometimes covering much of the tree, are not feeding on your woody plants. Lichens grow on the surface of the tree, and do not penetrate any tissue. Instead, they make use of the trunk or branches for support. They can be aesthetically pleasing for many. Lichens play a very significant role as a bio-indicator. They only grow where the air quality is good and have a favorable growing environment. They help filter the air as well… so, don’t worry, be happy!

Resources:
Lichens, Purdue Botany & Plant Pathology
Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab, Purdue Botany & Plant Pathology
Diseases of Landscape Plants: Leaf Diseases, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Doctor App, The Education Store
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store
Purdue Landscape Report, Purdue University

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

 

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