Fungus on tree #199906 - Ask Extension

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Fungus on tree #199906

Asked July 16, 2014, 8:10 PM EDT

I have an old fashioned dogwood tree. It has a green hard covering on several branches. Under that the tree has died. What is it and how do I treat it? Please help me save my tree! I have included several pictures of the tree and the limbs. Some of the tree befor and after the damage.  any help would be appreciated.  thank you

Sandy Fenton

Marion County West Virginia

Expert Response

The green covering that is on the limbs of your dogwood tree is a lichen. It is not damaging the dogwood tree in any way. We often see it on trees that are dying for various reasons because as the tree canopy thins it provides a good environment for the growth of the lichen. There is no control recommended for lichens because you are more likely to do additional damage to the tree when trying to control it than you will provide benefit. I have included the link for a more detailed fact sheet on lichens below if you wish to review it. The fact sheet is from Alabama but the information is still accurate for this area.

http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0857/ANR-0857.pdf

In this situation my main concern is the fact that there is something that is causing the decline of your dogwood tree. The most common issue in this area is dogwood anthracnose. I have included a link to  a fact sheet on it also below. Treatment for dogwood anthracnose utilizes fungicides in the spring when new growth is occuring as a preventative. It would not hurt to go ahead and perform a treatment at this time however it will be critically important to treat next spring starting at the time of bud break for a period of one to two months. The active ingredients chlorothalonil or mancozeb are the proper products to use. You will find many options available through garden centers.

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_dogwd/ht_dog.htm

If you would like me to do a site visit to try to confirm the anthracnose you can contact me through the Marion County Extension Office at 304-367-2772.

John

John Murray Replied July 21, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT

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