What Do Lichens Look Like?
Lichens are formed when a fungus merges with green or blue algae. Lichens can be found on the bark of trees, leaves, rocks and soil. Lichens are sometimes confused with moss, but they are biologically different.
Identification Of Lichens
Lichens have plant like bodies without stems, leaves or roots. Lichens can be very small or cover large areas.
Foliose lichens have a leafy appearance and can contain numerous bumps or ridges. They are loosely attached by threads that resemble roots.
- Lichens are formed when a fungus merges with green or blue algae.
- Lichens can be very small or cover large areas.
These lichens form a crust on the bark of trees and rocks. Crustose lichens adhere tightly, which makes it almost difficult for them to be removed.
The flashy three dimensional fruiticose lichens look more like plants than any of the other lichens. They often appear to be miniature shrubs as they are the most highly developed form of lichen.
Squamulose lichens have small scale like lobes that overlap to form mats. These lichens are attached at only one end.
Rid A Tree Of Lichens
Wait until lichens are dry, and brush them off the tree bark with a stiff brush. Prune limbs heavily infested with lichens off the tree with a pair of loppers if the lichens are restricting airflow and blocking sunlight. This is best done in early spring or fall. Dispose of the removed lichens and branches immediately after removal. This helps prevent the wind from blowing the lichens back onto the tree and increasing the possibility of future growth. Wait until the tree is in its dormant stage and the weather is calm and dry. Dilute 4 teaspoons of concentrate fixed copper with 1 gallon of water, mixing thoroughly with a stir stick.
- These lichens form a crust on the bark of trees and rocks.
- Prune limbs heavily infested with lichens off the tree with a pair of loppers if the lichens are restricting airflow and blocking sunlight.
- Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: LIchens
- National Park Service: Lichens
- Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources: Lichens: Two Lives In One-January-February 2006
- The Seattle Times: How to Get Rid of Lichens, Start a Garden on Your Deck
- University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Lichens of Woody Ornamentals
- Oregon State University Extension Service: Control of Moss and Lichens on Fruit Trees
- WP Law, Inc: Liquid Copper Fungicide Label
- Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Lichens on Woody Shrubs and Trees
Billie Abbott is a freelance writer, producing articles for numerous websites, including ParentDish and Gadling. She specializes in topics about gardening, animals, parenting and travel.