Lichens: It Can Grow on the Trunks and Limbs of Your Trees

— Written By and last updated by
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

One of the re-occurring calls that we have received at the Pasquotank Extension Center from home gardeners this spring is, “What is this stuff growing on the limbs and trunks of my tree?”  After closer inspection of pictures or samples we have received, it was determined that it was lichens.

Lichens are actually the combination of two organisms, a fungi and a green or blue green algae. They co-exist to mutually benefit each other. There are many types of lichens that differ in appearances. Lichens are found on many surfaces including tree trunks and limbs, rocks, etc (see picture below).

When home gardeners find it on their plants such as trees, they are usually concerned that the lichens are killing the tree. The presence of lichens can be an indication that the tree is not healthy and may need a little tender love and care, but is not actually killing the tree. More information about lichens can be found in this online fact sheet from the Alabama Cooperative Extension. Also, if you have questions about this or other gardening questions, please contact the Pasquotank Extension Center.

Lichen covering trunk of Dogwood tree

This lichen was found on the trunk of a pink dogwood. It completely covered much of the trunk of the tree.