This Symbiotic Organism took a “Lichen” to this Tree!

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On my recent trip up to our local IGA, I had to look twice at this Honeylocust.

 

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Were those Flowers? Leaves? Buds? No, they were Lichen. The question is always “Will they hurt or kill the tree?”

 

So, what is a Lichen? A lichen is a combination multiple types of fungus,

 

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algae, or cyanobacteria.

 

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They are symbiotic in that they coexist and support each other. They can look like moss and produce their own nutrition through photosynthesis. They get their nutrients from the air and rainwater.

 

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They can grow on many surfaces such as trees,

 

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wood,

 

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fences,

 

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rocks,

 

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shingles,

 

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and bark.

 

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So, do lichens hurt trees? The answer is in general, “No.”

 

Sometimes, a tree under stress may manifest more lichen.

 

Also, shade and cool moist surfaces can increase the incidence of lichen. A north facing surface may have more moss or lichen

 

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than a south facing surface of a tree,

 

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This is a good video (less than 4 minutes) that explains lichens and the effects on surfaces:

 

https://extension.psu.edu/do-lichens-cause-harm-to-trees

 

I hope you too a liken’ to this post! Happy SPRING!!!

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