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#96725 February 25th, 2007 at 02:12 AM
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We have several Oak trees on our property. Live oaks, Pin oaks, Water oaks, Blackjack oaks and I'm not sure what kind of oaks. They range from a few inches in diameter to several feet in diameter. Some of the older, (bigger) ones have some type of fungus I guess it is. It is white around the edge, with a light red on the surface. They are circular in shape, with one connecting to the other. If you look close, the surface has kind of curly little hair things. Anyone know what this is? Is it harmful to the tree? Also, they have a lot of moss hanging from them. Is all this moss harmful to them? I heard somewhere, don't remember where, that moss could eventually kill a tree. Anyone know if this is true?

#96726 February 25th, 2007 at 02:23 AM
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I don't know what it is but......GET IT AWAY FROM ME!! GET IT AWAY FROM ME!!!! sca

#96727 February 25th, 2007 at 02:24 AM
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oops

#96728 February 25th, 2007 at 02:30 AM
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Do you think this calls for the haz-mat suits? sca Please I need to know!

#96729 February 25th, 2007 at 03:27 AM
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Take a look here and see if anything looks familiar.

#96730 February 25th, 2007 at 03:41 AM
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Linny, You don't need a haz-mat suit but maybe a good book about mushrooms & Spanish moss ? idea As a youngster visiting Florida I bought some of that pretty grey looking moss home to Minnesota & killed a little cedar tree with it. All those dead trees in the swamps should of told the tale but kids will be kids. I had to experiment & now I am marked for the rest of my life.

#96731 February 25th, 2007 at 04:02 AM
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spanish moss will not kill a tree, but it will house lots of critters that will make you miserable.

mistletoe is a parasite to the tree, spanish moss is not. it just hangs there, using the tree as a prop as it were to get the moist air flow.

#96732 February 25th, 2007 at 05:06 AM
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WE have Mistletoe in Tennessee, but nowhere near as much as we did when I was a boy. Mistletoe is HIGHLY sensitve to air pollution I understand. I got a photograph of a big clump near my house last year.

#96733 February 25th, 2007 at 04:33 PM
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So I didn't kill the little cedar tree with the Spanish moss. All these years thinking I did the terrible deed. Freezing should kill the moss thought right? Like 65 below wind chill for example. I know the moss didn't survive the winter. That Mistletoe is scattered throughout the Rocky Mountain Forests.

#96734 February 25th, 2007 at 10:00 PM
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oh, no, you didn't kill the tree. and the moss won't survive that kind of cold. mistletoe on the other hand, i don't know about. i'm guessing that if the tree died, it was something else. and the moss was coincidental.

#96735 February 26th, 2007 at 01:21 AM
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The University of Florida has a premier tree program. I reference the site for any research from how to dig a planting hole to maintainence.

There is a 'contact us' link for questions.

http://hort.ufl.edu/woody/

#96736 February 26th, 2007 at 03:07 AM
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thank you herbalyn!

#96737 February 26th, 2007 at 12:17 PM
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I have the same thing that grows on one of my Oak trees.. People call it step or waterfall fungas..Everytime mine gets big enough to do something with it some ding bat comes and steals it!
I am not sure if it is good or bad but it is pretty..

#96738 February 26th, 2007 at 02:18 PM
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I wonder if that ding bat couldn't be some critter that likes to eat step or water fungus? You would be surprised what critters take a liking to. I had to put a net around my smoke bush one summer. There was a deer that took a liking to the foliage. It took awhile to catch on to what was happening to the bush too. It is so close to the house that deer had to be addicted. :rolleyes:

#96739 February 28th, 2007 at 01:08 AM
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Sorry I have not got back with you guys sooner. I have been tied up with grandkids for the past three days. A 9 yr old and a 14 month old. The little one wore me and the 9 yr old out!

Anyway, so much to say here! I will try to make it short and to the point.

Bonny, sorry you had to unessisarily live with the death of that cedar for so long, but your story led to the information that moss will not kill a tree. That was good to know. Thank you jiffymouse for that. I do know about the redbug critters you find in moss. It was good to learn that moss is not bad, and that mistletoe is. We have lots of mistletoe in our trees. What do we do about that? How can I "air pollution" that Thornius?

Thanks for the link Triss. I learned a lot from that site, and see a lot of the things pictured there around here. I just never knew what they were. I did not see anything like what I have here. I may have not looked close enough though. I did have grandkids while I was trying to look the site over remember! I did see a lot of things that made me go "ewww" however!

herbalyn, thanks for the link. It's great. It will come in handy I'm sure.

spring Fever, please post a pic of your waterfall or step fungus. I tried to look it up, but only got pictures of waterfalls, or instructions on how to build steps! I must admit I'm not the internet genius though...

Bonny, I had never heard of a smoke bush. Looked it up, and was actually able to find it! How pretty.

Anyway, again...

Too late to make this a short story! I am posting pictures of what's on several of our oaks. I hope they are clear enough for you to tell. If they are, I'm sure someone here can tell me what it is, and if it is harmful.

Thanks guys. I just love you and all your help...

Fungus 1

Fungus 2

Fungus 3

This last one shows that I may not have described it correctly,

Fungus 4

#96740 March 4th, 2007 at 04:16 PM
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That fungus or mushroom is a really pretty red color. The tree it is on is huge too. We have red oaks that attract shelf mushrooms. The mushrooms vary in color from pink to yellow. Some of the shelf mushrooms get really huge. Do you have an extension or forest service you could contact? Take a sample of the fungus into the extension office & they can send it out to find out what it is. I know what you mean by babysitting, I take care of our 4 month old grandson 5 hours a day & he is a hand full.

#96741 March 4th, 2007 at 05:51 PM
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They look like lichens to me, which are nonparacitic, but may contribute to the rotting of the bark.

#96742 March 4th, 2007 at 08:07 PM
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Linny I would but some meany keeps stealing it.. It is Not an animal...You can see knife marks.. If it starts growing again in the spring I will for sure snap a picture of it!!

#96743 March 6th, 2007 at 12:45 AM
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Bonny - yes, I asked around today and we do have an extension office here. I think I will take a clipping in and see what they say. Thanks, I did not think of that, it being the obvious thing to do and all! confused All my left over energy to you with that 5 month old. (Of which I have none, of course, good luck!) It's so great to have them, and it's so great to see their mom's come get them! But you sure love them...

margaret e. pell - lichens you say... I did look that up, and it looks very much like what I see on these trees. It worries me that they can contribute to the rotting of the bark. Some of the oaks that have this are huge. I sure would hate to loose them.

Alright springfever - sounds like it's time to set up a trap to me! Humans, darn them, are stealing your stuff. They probably think they can get high from it! Who's knows, maybe you can...

Snap a pic if you get the chance. I sure would love to see what you are talking about.

Thanks for all your help and replies everyone....

#96744 March 8th, 2007 at 06:57 PM
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Well for what its worth here are my thoughts about this thread. First off mushrooms are the fruiting structure of a fungi, there are three basic types of fungi: saprophytic (decomposers), parasitic (living off the work of another), and rhizomorphic (symbiotic relationship whit trees or woody shrubs). Therefore some fungi are helpful and some are harmful. The actual fungi are rarely seen.

Lichens are part fungi and part algae in a symbiotic relationship. There are three basic forms: foliose (leaflike growing close to the bark or rock), fruticose (hairlike or shrubby dangling from tree branches growing in tuffs out of rocks), crustose forming a crust on rocks or bark. All lichens are epiphytes, they are using others as substrate they are not harmful in any way whatsoever. Additionally, lichens are used as indicator species for air quality, they are Highly sensitive to air pollution (which is why they are rare in urban areas). Lastly lichens are commonly called mosses but are botanically very different. I believe your pictures contain lichens.

Now on to Mistletoe, which is a plant that is also a parasite. Due to the fact it has leaves and does photosynthesize it is referred to as being hemiparasitic (partly parasitic). Mistletoe is very difficult to get rid of due to the fact that the Mistletoe plant invaded the conductive tissue of its host. When there is an abundance of mistletoe on a tree, particularly a stressed one, it can be lethal. Mistletoe is not practically sensitive to air pollution, as is evidenced by its abundance in urban areas.

I hope this has been of some help and interest.

#96745 March 9th, 2007 at 01:10 AM
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Arctostaphylos - your reply was of great interest to me and very helpful. I sure am impressed by your knowledge on the subject. Thanks so much for the information. I read it over and over trying to take it all in and remember it.

It made me feel so much better about our trees. From "googleing" it, I do believe it is lichens as you and margaret have said. You guy's know your stuff! We do have quite a bit of Mistletoe and that makes me worry. Around here, it is customary for kids to take rifles and shoot it out of the trees during the Christmas season, bag it up, and sell it. From what you are saying, I don't think that will kill it. It can be so high up in the tree, I don't know how we can rid the trees of it. Any ideas? Thanks again.

#96746 March 13th, 2007 at 10:09 PM
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Linny your most welocome, i do enjoy trees! As to mistletoe removal, it is a difficult issue to say the least. The common practice is to remove at least 12" below the infection, which often relsults in some large pruning wounds. And even if you do get it out of your tree reinfection is VERY likely as the seeds are spread freely by birds. In my opinion it often results in more harm than good, i think proper horicultural care is the most important thing you can do. Happy gardening!

#96747 March 13th, 2007 at 10:25 PM
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Thanks Arctostaphylos. Dang, that name of yours is a mouthfull! I think I will just start calling you Arc if that's okay. I actually looked it up. Bearberry's or Manzanita, huh? It has a pretty little bell flower doesn't it.

I guess we will just leave the mistletoe alone. The trees it seems to be most prominent on are rather large, and pruning them would not really be an option. We would end up with a bunch of "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" looking oaks! Thanks again for your help, and happy gardening to you!

#96748 March 14th, 2007 at 03:10 PM
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lol i will answer to most anything, indeed the manzanitas represent a large group of lovely california natives.
most welcome for the assistance and best of luck.


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