What is Spanish Moss?
Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an epiphytic flowering plant. It can be found in tropical and subtropical climates. Yet, Spanish Moss has no relation to the moss family. This moss is considered to be a bromeliad. Spanish moss can be found most commonly in Live Oaks and Cypress trees. Spanish moss has no roots at all. Without soil as a source of nutrients, epiphytic plants have evolved the capacity to obtain minerals dissolved in water that flows across leaves and down branches. The Spanish moss looks like an old man's beard hanging from the branch’s of trees.
There are two ways that this moss reproduces. One way is by seedlings and the other is through the production of pups. “Pups” are copies of the main plant that grow from the original plant. Spanish moss is not a parasitic plant and will not harm your tree directly. The moss will began to affect your tree only when heavy clumps start to block sufficient sunlight and therefore leaf production. Large clumps of moss can also become too heavy for some branches and cause branch failure given the right conditions.
How to Control it?
You can reduce the speed of growth by applying adequate fertilizer and water to your tree. There are several ways to treat Spanish moss from spreading throughout the canopy by hand picking and chemical use. All methods of treatment should be advised through a ISA certified arborist.
Please contact Simply Trees for more information about Spanish moss and your trees care.