Causes of lichen on the tree and ways to get rid
If you find any diseases on the cortex, you should not let things go by themselves - treatment should be started immediately. Otherwise, a tree, with the development of an ailment, can infect neighboring cultures. So why does lichen appear on the trunk, how to get rid of it and what prevention methods exist, and will be described later.
Description of the main types of lichens
Lichens are a kind of tandem of algae and fungi. They favorably affect each other, sharing moisture and salts. Many believe that lichens have their own root system. But this is actually not true. In addition, these growths do not suck the juice from plants, they use the tree only as a support.
Did you know? Panic fear of lichens should not be, because fungal growths can not develop in a polluted environment. Therefore, if this organism appeared on the apple tree, it means that the garden is in an ecologically safe place.
Outwardly, the growths are different, as are the ways to deal with them. Today, about 30 thousand species of organisms are known that differ in color, shape, and the need for light and air. Lichens and moss grow on any surface at a rate of 0.1-0.9 cm per year.
It also has another name - goldfish. It develops slowly (only 1 mm per year) and looks like an orange or golden spot, in a shaded place it is pale in color. Belongs to leaf-shaped varieties.
These organisms are also called cortical. They are attached to any surface, including the bark of fruit trees. But they can also develop in the ground. They have a light or dark brown color, sometimes completely invisible.
Bushy lichens of all varieties
They look like growths with numerous flattened or round branches twisted in bundles. They grow on living bark or its remains. Sometimes they can develop in the soil.
The second name is lamellar. They have a different shape and size, mainly grow in breadth. They are fixed on the surface of the cortex. Coloring - green or yellow-green.
Signs of lichen on the apple tree
Recognizing a nuisance is simple: a greenish hue appears on the cortex, which is produced by unicellular algae. After that, a fungus appears on the surface, which provokes the splitting of the cortex. Organisms themselves are predominantly yellow-brown. If the humidity is increased, there is no lighting, then the infection multiplies rapidly and lives for several years.
It is easier to detect growths in wet weather - with increased humidity they become brighter (green, bright yellow, brown or light green). Some gardeners believe that the lichen appears exclusively on old trees and do not think about how to get rid of the problem. But in fact, the disease can appear on young apple trees.
Did you know? Some lichens can live for hundreds of years. Moreover, even the most unfavorable conditions are not able to destroy the body. He just falls asleep and stops developing. But after awakening, it begins to grow actively.
Factors that provoke the appearance of organisms can be different:
- thickened crown or landing;
- increased acidity of the soil;
- small crinkles in the trunk membrane, from which juice is constantly released, thereby creating a favorable environment for the multiplication of microorganisms - moisture;
- excessive watering;
- proximity to groundwater;
- weakened and exhausted root system of the apple tree;
- freezing or sunburn of the bark.
On one plant several forms of lichen can develop at once.
A trunk covered with microorganisms suffers from oxygen deficiency; pests, viruses or infections appear in the affected areas. Therefore, at the first symptoms, measures should be taken immediately to save the apple tree.
What harm can a lichen do to a tree?
The bark growths are not destructive and if the treatment is not started, the tree will not die. On their own, microorganisms do not drink juice from the plant, do not affect parts of it (fruits, herbs or bark). Since lichens combine algae and mushrooms, they act differently.
Primitive algae are responsible for photosynthesis and sugar production. Mushrooms protect the tree from drying out, provide minerals and moisture. The main danger of lichens is that they complicate the respiration of the cortex, a microworld is formed under them, in which favorable conditions for the vital activity and reproduction of bacteria develop.
- As a result of the growth of growths, such negative consequences arise:
- ventilation is difficult;
- moisture stagnates;
- a deficit of light appears;
- decay processes begin;
- pests hibernate under the plaques.
Video: mosses and lichens on the apple tree
How can I quickly get rid of a lichen on an apple tree?
Many, noticing the first signs, ask themselves the question: "how to deal with misfortune?". There are several methods that help rid trees of growths.
Getting rid of growths by physical method
In order to rid the garden of lichen, it should be prepared: cut the affected branches and shoots that will no longer bear fruit. After that, branches are cleaned with a wooden spatula. A tarpaulin or plastic film is lined under each tree, into which the exfoliated part will fall. The procedure is performed in the spring, when a lot of moisture accumulates in the cortex. Thanks to this cleaning, growths will be easier to remove.
At the end of the mechanical cleaning, the treated areas are poured with a 3% copper sulfate solution and covered with lime. It is recommended to spray the soil under the tree after treatment with a weak solution of urea. Before you clean the tree, in early spring and before winter, pruning the apple tree. Work is carried out in dry, warm weather. Such an event will not only serve to prevent lichen, but also increase the productivity of the tree.
During thinning of the crown, weak and damaged branches are removed, and with strong growth, the branches are cut to the level recommended for each variety. In parallel, the tree is rejuvenated, high-quality lighting and ventilation are provided.
Important! Failure to follow these guidelines can result in tree death.
When forming crowns adhere to such rules:
- work is carried out with a disinfected tool;
- try not to leave large sections;
- the remaining knots are processed.
Video: what to do with lichen on trees
The use of chemicals
Physical treatment of the cortex is good, but chemicals will not be superfluous.
The most effective remedies against lichens:
- Antifungal drugs (“Skor”, “Fitosporin”, etc.). Processing is carried out only during the rest period. Otherwise, toxic components fall on the fruit, which makes them unsuitable for consumption.
- Bordeaux liquid or oxalic acid (3% solution). Trees are sprayed in early spring, before the appearance of buds.
- Caustic soda. It is used if a large amount of lichen has grown on the trunk. First, the wood is cleaned, and then treated with a soda solution (100 g of substance per bucket of water). After the bark dries, it is additionally treated with copper sulfate (7-10%).
- Copper or iron sulfate. 300 g of powder is taken per 10 l of water, mixed well. They treat the affected areas. A week later, the lichen dries and disappears.
Important! All formulations diluted with water can be used only once - they decompose in air.
There are no specific terms for processing the garden from growths - it is carried out as necessary.As a rule, it is combined with pruning and preparing for winter or vegetation.
Folk methods of struggle
A sick apple tree can be cured by improvised, folk remedies.
The effect of such cleaning is no worse than that of chemicals, and they are prepared simply and are inexpensive:
- Slaked lime. For harvesting, you need 600 g of the drug and 0.5 l of boiling water. The solution is placed on a slow fire. Stirring regularly, add 400 g of sulfur and 1.5 liters of water. Bringing to a uniform state, keep on fire with the lid closed for 15 minutes. It turns out a mixture of red. After cooling to + 37 ... + 40 ° C, the mixture is poured. Before treatment, 100 ml of the composition is diluted in 5 l of water.
- Ash and salt. 1 kg of salt is mixed with 2 kg of ash, grated laundry soap (2 pieces) is added and a bucket of water is poured. The mixture is stirred until smooth and grease damaged areas.
All remedies are poisonous, so you can work with them only in protective equipment (gloves, gauze bandage, glasses).
Measures to protect and prevent the appearance of lichens on fruit trees
The hackneyed truth has long been known to everyone: a problem is easier to prevent than to eliminate.
Therefore, in order not to ask the question "what to do to save the apple tree", it is better to take preventive measures:
- timely fight harmful insects and diseases;
- handle cracked wood (clay, garden var);
- thin out the crown every year;
- regularly treat the trunk with a 3% solution of Bordeaux mixture or copper sulfate;
- timely and competently make top dressing;
- use clean tools;
- perform whitewashing of the stem annually.