Lawn Tips & Tricks

Do you like the look of lichens?

How can you not like the look of lichens?

Do you like lichens?
We recently received a phone call from a customer that her tree was being invaded by some wild fuzzy creatures. She said, My tree looks like it is from outerspace with hairy green appendages all over it.’ What was growing on her trees were lichen. Lichen, are an unusual pair. Yes, pair. One part fungus  one part algae  the two live in harmony, each doing a job to keep the organism alive. The alga, a microscopic green plant, makes food for the pair while the fungus, a non green plant supports and provides moisture.  Lichen do not harm trees. They are squatters, hanging onto the branches and trunks of trees for support. Lichen are good indicators of air quality. They can withstand extreme heat and cold but perish in polluted conditions. They also work as air filters. Like other green plants, they use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Beside being air purifiers, lichen are used for a number of other purposes such as dyes, medicine and food. They are also sold for decorative purposes. For $12 you can buy a bag of them at Pottery Barn and use them as a vase filler. Or save yourself the $12 and pick them yourself. There seems to be an abundance of them all over Cape Cod and the South Shore.
Remember, healthy trees make for healthy air. If you have trees or shrubs that you would like to preserve the health and longevity of, call your Greenskeeper for a free consultation.

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