How to Remove Spanish Moss


Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) causes no harm to the tree it lives upon. The plant is an epiphyte that utilizes a host plant to make its home upon. It does not take nutrients from the host but simply uses it to reach water and sunlight by clinging to the branches. Spanish moss commonly grows from oaks, pecans and pines in temperate and tropical climates. Many homeowners desire removal of the Spanish moss from their landscape for aesthetic reasons, or because they worry that a heavy moss infestation will shield out light from reaching the tree or garden underneath.

Step 1

Rake the lower limbs of the tree infested with Spanish moss. Use either a basic garden rake or a long pole with a hook mounted into the end to hook the moss and pull it down. Purchase a 7-foot wood dowel that is 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Screw a 2- to 3-inch hook into the end of the dowel. Hook the moss with the hook, twist and pull down.

Step 2

Pull the moss off the rake or the hook, and place it into a garbage bag. Wear gloves when handling Spanish moss because it is often infested with tiny bugs, known as chiggers, which cause skin irritation.

Step 3

Place a ladder under the tree and climb up the ladder. The ladder will give you extra extension to reach the higher limbs in the tree, which are normally more lightly covered with moss. Hook the Spanish moss with the rake or the pole with the hook and pull down.

Step 4

Place the Spanish moss onto another tree where it is allowed to grow. Drape the moss over the tree's branches and it will quickly take up residence. If you do not desire transplanting the Spanish moss to a new tree, simply dispose of it in the garbage bag.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • 7-foot wooden dowel
  • 2- to 3-inch screw hook
  • Gloves
  • Ladder


  • Clemson University: Spanish Moss
  • Extension: What You Need to Know About Spanish Moss
  • Sarasota County Forestry: Spanish Moss

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: Spanish Moss
Keywords: Spanish moss removal, Removing Spanish moss, Spanish moss control

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.