Japenese Maple - Knowledgebase Question

Bernville, Pe
Question by marti94
March 21, 2010
I have an established Japenese Maple which has what appears to be yellow mold spreading throughout the trunk and branches. Is this harmful to the tree and how do I get rid of it?

Answer from NGA
March 21, 2010


This is one of those occasions where a picture would be worth a thousand words! I can't tell from your description whether the trunk and branches are developing a moss or lichen, or if it is an actual mold. Lichen and mosses won't harm your tree, although they don't look particularly attractive. You can peel them off or you can kill them off with a lime/sulfur (Bordeaux) spray in the winter while the tree is dormant. The dead lichen or moss will slough off eventually. If your tree is actually developing a fungus, it might mean a diseased root system or other disease problems. You may want to take close up photos and share them with the staff at your local nursery or cooperative extension office. I'm sure the staff can identify the problem and suggest control options. Best wishes with your maple.

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