Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Ball Moss Removal

By Athena Hessong ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ball moss consists of neither a moss nor a ball. These plants have a closer relation to pineapples as they both belong to the Bromeliaceae family of plants, according to the University of Florida. While ball moss tenaciously clings to tree limbs, these plants do not feed off the host. They get their own nutrients and water from the air around them, classifying ball moss as an epiphyte, according to Texas A&M University. Ball moss will not kill a tree, and removal should only occur if the ball moss blocks out the light from the lower branches of the tree, according to the University of Florida.

Climb a ladder and carefully pull off as many clumps of ball moss as you can, wearing gardening gloves to protect your hands. Discard the removed ball moss.

Combine 6 oz. of a copper-based fungicide labeled for treating ball moss with 10 gallons of water.

Fill the pump sprayer with the fungicide mixture.

Spray this mixture directly onto the ball moss in the winter until the spray drips from the moss.

Wait for several months for the chemical treatment to kill the moss, indicated by the ball moss falling from the tree. Repeat the treatment the following winter to kill off any remaining ball moss or any regrowth.


Things You Will Need

  • Ladder
  • Gardening gloves
  • Pump sprayer
  • 6 oz. by weight copper-based fungicide labeled for ball moss, such as Kocide DF, Blue Shield or Champion brands
  • 10 gallons water


  • Protect driveways, cars and ornamental plants under the tree by covering them with a tarp before spraying the ball moss to prevent the copper from causing discoloration or damage.