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Spanish Moss

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Spanish Moss Treatment

Many people enjoy the sight of Spanish Moss hanging from the old oak trees in Florida. Draped over trees and swaying in the breeze, it seems to appear from nowhere adding to its relaxing and calming effect. However, Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is neither Spanish nor an actual moss. And, with a good moist growing season it will multiply and quickly become a nuisance to the tree itself. Although this plant grows on trees, it is not a parasite. It doesn’t put down roots in the tree it grows on,  and it doesn’t take nutrients from the tree either. This plant thrives on rain and fog, sunlight, and airborne or waterborne dust and debris.

Most tree owners do not realize the danger a large amount of moss can cause a tree. Abundant amounts can smother small or even larger limbs.

The surface of the plant is covered with very small gray scales, which trap moisture until the plant can absorb it. It can absorb more water than it needs, to help keep it going through dry periods. When the tissues plump up after a rain, Spanish moss appears more green. As the water is used up, it returns to a gray color.

Did you know that one pound of Spanish Moss can hold up to two or more pounds of rainwater, becoming a total weight of 3 pounds? If a tree has 500 pounds of dry Spanish moss hanging from it, once it rains it will become 1,500 pounds of excess weight it has to support. Add the power of wind in a thunderstorm, and possible hurricane strength winds – and the tree can suffer significant damage.

Thinning or removing Spanish moss makes sense, whether you pull it out of the branches or spray it with copper sulphate. On Budget Tree Service offers both types of moss control. If your trees are weighed down by an excessive amount of moss, have us out to take care of it for you.

spanish moss

Spanish Moss