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leenie_me

Help, Air Plants killing my trees,

15 years ago

I live in SW Florida and have airplants on all my trees including my bottlebrush, oak, golden rain tree, bald cypress, magnolia and fruit trees. They are not spanish moss. I also have the airplant known as spanish moss but they don't hurt the tree branches. These do. Believe they are some kind of tillisandia. They are gray and are shaped like a ball with many little gray soft bristle like things sticking out of them. They grow on branches and before I know it, the branch is dead. They start small but before long get large and when they do, the tre branch is dead. I'd hate to lose these trees. Can anyone tell me how to kill the air plants. I pull off the ones that I can reach but have many up very high and I can't reach them. Each branch that has one on it has died. It seems to be an infestation of these air plants in my whole town and others around it. I've noticed them in public areas such as the local hospital, shopping centers, etc. Hoping there's a spray that sprays a stream that may reach and kill them. Please let me know if you have any helpful suggestions.

Leenie

Comments (83)

  • 10 years ago

    Ha, wish I had seen this sooner. They absolutely suck nutrients from trees. The only one I ever managed to keep alive was attached to a tree bramch that I broke off the tree. I never watered it or anything, unlike the others which got top misted as they should have been. Those ones died. The one attached to the limb? Yep, limb Is nearly dead but it isn't. Only explanation? Those roots do tap water.

    Not to mention all the oaks along the Guadalupe are slowly being suffocated by these things. If you can, absolutely remove them.

  • 10 years ago

    I've got an air plant living on a dead, dried-up branch segment from a tree that was hit by lightning. It has happily resided on this dead piece of wood for over a year. In other words, there are no nutrients for it to 'steal' and it is doing just fine. Aside from the lightning damage, the Black Cherry that I got the limb from is doing fine and is recovering.

    Similarly, there is a Crape Myrtle across the street from me that is riddled with ball moss and aside from the park manager commiting Crape Murder twice a year, it is doing just fine. And if anyone ever visits Leesburg, take a walk down Main St. They have several trees peppered with air plants. All doing just fine.

    Air plants are not the cause of tree issues. They just get blamed by people who don't bother looking for the real reasons. It's like people who do massive landscaping under their oaks, regrading, building those 'trendy' plant rings three feet deep on the trunk and then blame ball moss for their tree losing vitality.

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    Don't seal or paint. Advice given above is appropriate. This does not look like cat, or even rodent. I don't see gnawing, but it does looked like a flap as been pulled up and then ripped off, judging by she shape of it. Usually humans do 'that' kind of damage, or something like deer, but that's not deer, either. If you do ever have a chunk taken out that forms a flap, carefully trim the flap off flush and never pull it off. I did that a time or two when I first started pruning years ago, and learnt the hard way. I've seen far worse wounds than this heal up just fine if the only damage is what is apparent by the photograph. I plant in heavy clay too on part of my property, and it looks like there were air pockets around the root ball and they collapsed when the wet soil settled with watering and if this is the case, at the right moisture level, you can take a maddock or something with tines and work the surface up and add a bit more soil, watering it in a bit at a time. But if the soil stays so wet after you watered in and didn't percolate out, and made the tree float in it's situation, you have problems staking won't help. You can plant a lot of trees in heavy clay if you work with it, and not against it, but I've found that planting on high spots, or inclines helps the moisture drain off eventually. If you chose low areas where it can't, you're setting yourself up for issues with aeration or rots down the road and you can literally watch them delcline. It's not always about where you want the tree as much as where the tree wants to be.
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  • 10 years ago

    Take another air plant and put it beside that one with no organic support and don't tend to It. It'll die. Idk what the deal is with these , they are weird. Maybe some trees are just more susceptible than others. I too have seen healthy trees with Spanish moss on them... But given these travel by fuzzy seeds the argument of these being attracted to trees already in decline doesn't make sense.

    Not arguing BTW, I just find this kind of thing interesting and am interested in the science behind it. But we shouldn't rule it out given we discover new things about plants we thought we knew daily. :) For example, did you know that Cephalotus, a carnivorous pitcher plant from Australia was long thought to be like other carnivores and make up their lsck of nitrogen by catching and digesting insects, actually receives up to 70% of its nutrition through its roots? The highest amount of any carnivore known.

  • 10 years ago

    They don't attack trees in decline, the seeds can attatch themselves to most anything and germinate if conditions are right. Having been all over the South, I have seen Spanish and Ball Moss growing from some interesting places. There are some older communities in SC and LA where some old wooden buildings have moss growing from the walls. There are probably similar buildings here in Florida, but I haven't personally seen one here. My inlaws sometimes get 'seedling' Spanish Moss growing from the screen of their lanai. Not true seedlings, but small spears of moss about 1/2 inch in length that catch hold and start growing. Spanish Moss is not Ball Moss, but it goes to show that can't get much more nutrient deprived than a screen, but the Spanish Moss doesn't care, it grows just the same. I still haven't figured out what it is about their lanai that makes it ideal, but their neighbors don't seem to have the same issues. I am thinking it has something to do with the design that allows for decent air flow. Or the neighbors are just far better at cleaning their screens, my in-laws can be a bit lax in that regard.

  • 10 years ago

    With this topic fresh on my mind and having to make a trip to my in-laws' to help my FIL with something, I tried keeping one eye out for any unusual places where Ball Moss had started growing. Unfortunately the vast majority of buildings around here are fairly new, definitely nothing on par with the 60-100 yr old buildings in SC and LA. There was one house that had some ball moss growing from the shingles on its roof, but it could be argued they were blown down from the oaks that shaded the house. However, there was an interesting place that I saw lots of ball moss. The lowest cable of the power lines was a twisted steel braided cable that I am guessing is used as a tension wire. All along these wires, ball moss seeds had managed to get a foothold and start growing, and some of the locations were nowhere near a tree, strongly suggesting that they had to have been started by seeds floating on the wind. And there were some rather healthy specimens up on those cables too.

  • 10 years ago

    Amazing. I thought this thread was dead and buried. That the "evil ball moss" crowd had finally accepted their inaccuracies and sulked away. Oh well, let's set the record straight again.

    Ball Moss - Tillandsia recurvata - and Spanish Moss - Tillandsia usneoides - are air plants, in the genus Tillandsia. And as such, they are adventitious plants, meaning they will take advantage of any location that provides sun and rain. While it is possible that a mass of them might get so heavy as to break a small branch, it would probably be a dead branch to start.

    Tillandsia do not kill trees, they grow where the tree is already in decline. They are not truly symbiotic, since they take nothing from their host tree and give nothing back. You can find Ball Moss growing in the cracks of highway overpasses, on telephone poles, anywhere one of their small roots take hold. If you could follow a tree full of Ball Moss or Spanish Moss back in time, you would find a healthy tree that gradually faded and at some point after the fading had begun, the Tillandsia started to grow.

  • 10 years ago

    Well actually what I was wondering is that if there some correlation somewhere between air plants and trees that would lead to death. I know they don't actually kill them outright though.

    We have big magnolia trees at work that are pretty healthy... But the last few years the oak trees across thr road have shared air plants. And now we have huge limbs that drop off from just one of these sitting on it. I saw a cluster today of maybe 4? On a section of branches that wasn't there prior to spring... And that branch cluster doesn't have a single leaf on it. So this is why I wonder if its just coincidence. But we dont have many branches fall/die without the air plants on them. So I wonder if there Isnt more to it. Anyway, I dont consider them evil or bad... But i dont see it as dumb to be cautious about where we plant things. Frankly, I would be devastated if I lost my oak tree in the front yard for any reason. It's literally the same age as me darn near to the month.

    Good stuff all. Very informative. :)

  • 10 years ago

    Well actually what I was wondering is that if there some correlation somewhere between air plants and trees that would lead to death. I know they don't actually kill them outright though.

    We have big magnolia trees at work that are pretty healthy... But the last few years the oak trees across thr road have shared air plants. And now we have huge limbs that drop off from just one of these sitting on it. I saw a cluster today of maybe 4? On a section of branches that wasn't there prior to spring... And that branch cluster doesn't have a single leaf on it. So this is why I wonder if its just coincidence. But we dont have many branches fall/die without the air plants on them. So I wonder if there Isnt more to it. Anyway, I dont consider them evil or bad... But i dont see it as dumb to be cautious... I don't believe everytging I read. I just know I would be devastated if I lost my oak tree in the front yard for any reason. It's literally the same age as me darn near to the month.

    Oh, and on a semi-related note... That harder mossy stuff that is always found on tree bark? Is that an air plant because it seems to have an anchor root system?

    This post was edited by Sundewd on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 23:06

  • 9 years ago

    Lots of things can lead to tree degradation. Anything that changes how or how well a tree gets its nutrients can lead to eventual decline. From articles I have read, doing things like changing the grade of the ground around a tree won't have a noticeable effect for a few years.

    During the fall or winter of 2012-13, I witnessed a termite eruption from the field behind me. It only lasted about an hour and at that moment I did not know what I was seeing. Since then the oak near the eruption point has been in slow but steady decline while the others nearby look fine. Talking to the guy who owns the land, he was baffled as to why that oak was failing. It's one of the few oaks in Florida that doesn't have moss hanging from it and there are few ball moss on it even though the lightning struck Black Cherry with ball moss isn't far away, though usually down wind of the oak. I told him about the termite eruption and he kind went "Ah hah, that would be why." But the thing is, if I had not been outside in that particular hour when the eruption occurred, there would be no clues why the tree was failing and all sorts of 'innocents' might have been blamed.

  • 9 years ago

    This is along the same lines, but I believe this to be a lichen. My county extension agent told me years ago that it would not hurt my plants. Yet, every branch it settles on dies. I suppose I would buy the scientific theory of it invading an already "in trouble" shrub, but would like some expert advice!
    Thank you, in advance.

  • 9 years ago

    http://www.isa-arbor.com/store/productfiles/SymbiosisofParasitesandEpiphytesQuiz-63-ceu_2014_12.pdf

    Now this may shock some of you, but even though I love you all, I love my granddaughters even more, and I was literally on my way out the door to go take care of them for the weekend when I last visited this most informative thread. Here is the link as promised:


    BTW, I'm a little clunky when it comes to working with this interface. Hopefully, that works. In the meantime....wonder of wonders...I've got to leave my desk for a meeting. So I suppose, one or more of you will come along and say "see, Wisconsitom doesn't stick around to defend himself" or some other bit of rubbish. Have fun!

    +oM


  • 9 years ago

    Thanks for a good article, Wisconsitom. I've learned a new word to tease my husband as opportunities to apply it to us arise - commensalism: the epiphyte benefits, the tree, clothesline, , husband, whatever neither benefits nor is harmed.

    As for the contempt displayed by some for the findings of those who've studied plants for decades, well, that is extremely unfortunate and obviously costly both monetarily and emotionally to those who share it. Nevertheless, I recommend those who are seeing loss of trees in their area to contact their local county extension office for explanations. Those local offices exist specifically to, yes, study local conditions and to help local farmers and gardeners deal with them. For sure, any mass tree loss is being studied and solutions or, when necessary, alternatives being developed.

  • 9 years ago

    Agreed, and somewhere up above, I should have commended any and all in this thread who care enough about their trees to volunteer some commentary. As to your husband, uh, if he's staying that still that epiphytes are colonizing him, maybe a future as garden sculpture could be his some day! Eventually, so much stuff would grow over him, nobody would even know there's a body in there.

    BTW, granddaughters have me wrapped around their fingers.

    +oM

  • 9 years ago

    :)! I'm the epiphyte in this relationship, W, with my various commensal desires. Tried out the idea of his laying lime green linoleum tile in the kitchen on him yesterday, but his reluctant assent suggested crawling around on his knees didn't meet the "no harm" requirement. He was briefly taken with his vision of the garden sculpture he'd make, but not the reality.

  • 9 years ago

    just adding my .02 on the article and reading the comments about airplants, and the spainish Moss. While they are not parasitic, they do eventually kill off the tree. Especially my Live Oak in my front yard. The problem is with the Spanish Moss, It grows in huge clumps and the weight of it; especially when it rains collects water and weighs down on the upper canopys and weakens the branches and leaders, and the same with wind storms, rain/wind combinations stretches and pulls on the tree and weakens it. I have a tree that's almost 50' tall I'm trying to save because the moss is so thick, it traps the lower sucklings from growing and they die off. On the larger clumps that wrap around limbs and grows thick, it traps moisture and creates mildew and tree rot which once the bark starts rotting, the decaying bark and limp traps moisture and keeps the rotting cycle going. It's starting to have a lichen problem as well which is overgrowing on the new suckling growth. These all trap in moisture which promotes wood rot.

    So the answer is, YESS!! in time, it will set objects in motion that will kill the tree.


  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Benjamin, not to totally dispute what you're saying, but I've grown up in the South and I've seen Spanish Moss growing in all sorts of oaks and other trees. Usually when I saw/see the big clumps of Spanish Moss, it is hanging from the thick, lower branches in big flapping drifts. There were many eerie lanes in SC where oaks on either side of the road were heavy with Spanish Moss, yet the trees were healthy.

    For years, my FIL would brag that the Water Oak behind his house seemed relatively impervious to Spanish Moss while others in the area seemed heavy with it. He had some, but it never got 'overbearing'. Then last summer the Spanish Moss seemed to explode in his tree. It frustrated him to no end that now his Water Oak was now 'just as bad' as the others. For some reason I never made the connection, but after reading the article from the ISA, it clicked. Last Spring he had the canopy of his oak opened up. The extra light that was now pouring in through the canopy is what triggered the Moss to grow faster.

    Now, I will also say this more about Spanish Moss than Ball Moss. As I was growing up in the South, the best trees for enduring the 'heavy' drifts of Spanish Moss were the ones that belonged there. While I still won't jump into the "Tillandisia's are killing my tree" end of the pool, I imagine that some trees that are native to other areas of the world just don't have the structure, strength or other adaptations to handle the Spanish Moss. Crape Myrtles, since it seems to be the one people bring up most for being killed by these plants, are originally from China and India. I don't know about Tillandsia's in that part of the world, but it's very likely that these trees just never had to deal with them much, or at least different types. Now, add in man who has been breeding these trees for different heights, colors and bark appearance and it's even more likely that whatever adaptation they may have had for dealing with Tillandsias has been bred out of most.

    That said, I am currently watching Crape Myrtles in my area, especially the ones that have Ball Moss on them, and I think they do have one adaptation that does help against the Tillandsia. They put on massive amounts of new growth in the Spring and this new growth is not in any way impeded by the Ball Moss on the rest of the plant. Even the shrub one across the street from me, after being Crape Murdered for years, is sending up several dozen new stems that don't have the Ball Moss and Lichen that the lower part of the shrub has. I imagine that in a few months time, it will be flowering its head off.

    A picture of the Crape Myrtle Shrub across the street. All the green showed up in the past two weeks.


  • 8 years ago

    Leenie_me, do your trees appear to be black at the base?

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    All the above photos are of plant fungus, ( I don't care what you name them they are a fungus) and the only cure/killer of them is liquid copper, I recently sprayed all of my shrubs/trees and yes, crepe myrtle, my spruce shrubs, Norfolk pine trees and on and on for these fungus plants, and yes Spanish moss from my Oak tree is the spreader. And they all will take a toll on your trees plants in time, it's been a couple weeks now and it is dying, turning black from gray and dried up falling off

  • 8 years ago

    Tillandsia-a bromeliad (as is pineapple, fordachrissakes) is most definitely not a fungus. Lichens-which never harm their host trees-are mutualistically beneficial combos of an alga-plural-algae-and one or more harmless fungi. In some cases, lichens can be 3-way organisms, also incorporating a blue-green alga, which is actually a type of bacteria! But to lump all these myriad organisms together as was done in the preceding post is, at best, willful ignorance.

    +oM

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I was searching for an answer to this question and found this website with this post. I cleaned all the ball moss off of an old orange tree in the yard of our rented house when I first got married. I fertilized it and, yes, as a plant lover, I talked to it. It thrived like crazy. We picked big beautiful oranges off that tree for the six years we lived there. I don't care what anybody says, if that moss starts growing on a tree, it will eventually kill it, even if fertilized and watered. I am in my 60s now and have an orange tree that is covered with ball moss, but I'm not steady enough to climb the tree to get it all off. I was hoping there was a spray that would kill it. I will try the copper fungicide.

  • 8 years ago

    I always scratch my head just a bit over folks who, despite making an inquiry on an online forum, still "don't care what anybody says". Seems counterproductive somehow. If you already know all, why even bother with forums like this?

    +oM

  • 8 years ago

    I am still fairly new to the Tampa Bay area and have wondered about this strange spider-like moss-like plants. I notice wherever I see it there are dead branches. The most shocking is to see a pine tree at Abercrombie Park, where we walk the dogs... you can see the ball moss has seemingly killed the lower 2/3rds of the tree and is creeping up the tree. Only the very top has green needles, but the tree isn't long from death. Has it ever occurred to the readers that everything evolves and maybe when nitrogen in the air is not prevalent, it sucks the nutrients from the tree? I mean, life will find a way. Also, if there isn't enough moisture in the air, a gene switches on and Bingo its host is providing the moisture. I am a believer in Science, but I'm also a skeptic and I'm seeing more and more trees and bushes that appear to be dying and they are burdened with this plant.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I stand by my statement of fact, that liquid copper will keep all of this fungus under control and save your tree's, bushes and or plants, which I have been doing now in my gardens for 36 years. this process is something you need to keep up with since the Spanish moss blows around in wind and attaches itself to other plants.

  • 8 years ago

    Fungus: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fungus

    Epiphyte: http://www.britannica.com/plant/epiphyte

    Plants: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/plants/plantae.html

    Spanish moss, ball moss, and other PLANT epihytes ARE NOT fungus. Stop calling it that. Fungus is a completely different Kingdom of life.

    And yes, you are right, liquid copper is used for killing these PLANTS but the vast majority of us don't believe it is necessary.


  • 8 years ago

    78% of all air everywhere on the planet is nitrogen... So I'm not sure that makes any sense.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Supposedly there are people in the Mid-East who still believe the world is flat, so the notion that there are people with fingers in their ears ignoring what botanists around the world agree on isn't too surprising. Personally I have been in the South too long and seen too many strong, healthy trees living just fine with Spanish Moss to buy into the knee jerk hype. I could blame the fact that my wife's Crape Myrtle did so poorly this year on the one ball moss I attached to it, because the one across the street did poorly too and it has more ball moss. OR I can open my eyes and pay attention, noticing almost all Crape Myrtles in my area did poorly this year after a really warm winter last year. Even this winter our CM hasn't completely gone dormant, it keeps putting out leafbuds but then sheds them shortly after. This is likely putting a drain on it and if we lose it next year, I will NOT blame the ball moss, because I am mindful that there are other factors.

    (Edit: And with that I am done with this thread. If people want to argue in favor of ignorance despite the overwhelming Botanical and Horticultural information available for free on the internet, then there's no helping them.)


  • 8 years ago

    to: wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)......this is a teach and learn info site......I never said I knew everything.....the original person posted a question, so I answered it from my experience, AND I learned that copper fungicide will kill it, so I'm using it! Thanks to all of you who actually posted info about killing ball moss. It was a huge help!!!

  • 8 years ago

    Liquid copper does not kill ball moss. It kills the roots that attach it to the tree, and it falls out, so people think it's dead. Also, it's not the ball moss that kills the trees. It's the insects and diseases that hide in it, or are attracted to its water retaining properties. Tillandsias are not parasites. They don't suck the life out of a tree like mistletoe does. The worst they can do is harbor other bad things that WILL attack the tree.

  • 8 years ago

    Tillandsia species don't kill trees, take no nutrients at all from the tree. If there is branch die back it is a coincidence.

  • 8 years ago

    All l can add is my 20yr experience living in a rural, heavily wooded central Fl. neighborhood. I've planted a lot of ornamental shrubs and allowed many natives to flourish for a bird santury ((aka too lazy to prune!) I can honestly say that neither my trees nor my neighbor's have ever died from ball moss in that time. Bromiliads are not interested in anything but damp, humid air and the bits and pieces of detritus that fall into it from trees. I have noticed that it only lives a short time but reseeds itself so keeps building layers. The only shrubs i've seen slowly die have a warty appearance, often with lines of little black ants Looking closely l see cottony, webby little critter (forgot name) tons of aphids they harvest honeydew from, scale, and probably the fungus's that thrive here. Carpenter ants also have a field day in trees dying from disease inside., same with termites; you won'see them. Then drought and poor soil.and poor pruning. Did l mention pileated woodpeckers? It's a wonder anything grows!

  • 8 years ago

    Joan, all I can say is that if you've got pileated woodpeckers around, you're doing something right! Great birds.....maybe the greatest!

  • 7 years ago

    i will use the liquid copper on the air plants that i know are killing my maple and crepe myrtle trees.



  • 7 years ago

    Jeffrey, it's not the air plants that kill the tree. It's that when they get too thick, fungus and insects hide and breed inside of the mass and attack the trees, so it's insects and fungus killing your trees, not the ball moss. The liquid copper kills their roots and they fall out of the tree, so be prepared to pick up a lot of them.

  • 7 years ago

    dirtygardener, i am prepared. thank you for your explanation, it does make a lot sense.

  • 7 years ago

    Glad I could help. :)

  • 7 years ago

    leenie_me(Z 5): Finally I have found someone who has the same tree issue as my Trees do, I live in SW Florida, At one point in time I had beautiful fruit trees, but a after hurricane Charlie and then Wilma, my fruit trees started having a problem with Tillandsia recurvata sucking on the fruit tree branches, and then the branches die, I do not care what the expert say, I do believe they are the cause of killing the branches, I have watched the branches being healthy then I see Tillandsia recurvata start growing on the branches, then the branch become dry and die.. you can not convince me otherwise.

  • 7 years ago

    Oh, Ricky, I know you're leaving and won't care anymore, but don't leave us until you chime in JUST ONE MORE TIME about this, you know, sort of a swan song?? You know you're gonna miss it, just one more time just for giggles! And it's your favorite subject, too.

  • 7 years ago

    rita - you can't fix stupid.

  • 7 years ago

    Everybody, you gotta be careful of dem air plants. Dey ist aliens from Jupiter and dey will suck your brains out if'n you gets too close. dave martin used to have a normal brains until he played wit dem air plants. Now youz can see he onlys has enough brain cells to type jibberyish.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lake Co. Fl. Thanks inulover! I KNEW my cousin in Melbourne Beach had only partialy lost her mind due to an accident of birth until she put a ladder up a giant live oak and pulled out a huge airplant. This one must've been the boss hog alien of Jupiter inlet!

    But, I digress; the plants crowded allover your trees is a chicken or egg thing. The plants aren't killing the trees, the trees are stressed by drought, insect damage, fungus, etc. so the airplants find them attractive. They only attach to the limbs but don't find their nourishment from them; the recieve everything they need from the humid air.

  • 7 years ago

    Joan, I am sincerely saddened to hear about your cousin. This idea keeps cropping up and facts don't seem to make much of a difference to the perpetrators. I'm pretty sure about the alien part, at least for citrus county, because we have quite a few of them growing off the power lines.

  • 7 years ago

    I wonder if that's why we see those weird beams of light shining down through the woods at night?? Then again, it could be the Feds looking for the meth cookers and pot growers, we had a major drug bust down our road not long ago. I hope the forum police on the cooking forum don't read these, they'll be ratting us out big time to the admins.

  • 7 years ago

    When i was a kid you could lay in bed at night and hear the drug runners using the river to deliver their drugs. Momma always told us if when we were down at the river and saw a package on the shoreline to leave it alone. This was before meth got big.

  • 5 years ago

    Air plants have killed all of my bushes and small trees at my business and all of the bushes and trees in our entire complex. I dont care what the so called "experts" say on this site. Only the bushes with these little air plant balls are completely bare and the bushes that have bare branches are only the branches that have these things stuck to them. Anyone know how to kill them other than liquid copper?

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    These air plants definitely kill the branches. I have tons of them all over my oak trees. The ones that have consumed a branch does completely kill the leaves and the branch falls off. The tree is about 45-50 ft tall and there is no way to get rid of them. I pull off the ones I can reach but there are so many. Is there any kind of spray to get rid of them?

  • 5 years ago

    I'm shaking my head in wonder at the "I don't care what experts say, they're killing my trees." comments. Air plants don't kill trees. The insects/fungus that they give cover to kill trees. So yes, get rid of them, but if your tree is infested with insects & fungus, it's going to die anyway.


    I once collected a lot of ball moss and used chicken wire to make a Christmas Tree out of them. Spray painted them green, red and gold and it was a beautiful little tree. So they are useful. :)

  • 4 years ago

    Go to Harbor Freight and get the 12 volt tank sprayer for small money. Then get a bag of powered copper or liquid whatever. Mix it up in the tank and spray everything you have with Spanish Moss and the ball moss. Your trees love copper and the moss, not so much. You might have to spray again in a few weeks. All that moss is home to thousands of bugs that kill your trees.

  • 4 years ago

    I have almost all of the trees in my yard. I sprayed branches with “7”. It is a liquid. Then I used the powder form of “7” (seven I use it about once a week. All of my trees and flowers seem to be coming back. I noticed that my neighbor and he is infested with this fungus,air plants with a gray green fungus all over the place. I recommended he remove some of the dead trees and spray away. I think it just keeps spreading through the newbornhood from the wind. Anyway “7” seven found at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Seemed to be working for me. Good Luck!

  • 2 years ago

    Without a doubt, they are killing the fruit bushes where I live. I went out and pulled at least a black garbage bag full yesterday and there are many more. Much of the bush that was alive last year, is not this year. You can pull some of them out but where the bush is still full, it is hard to get to all of them. Also, even though you are pulling them out, there are still little vines that you can't get to that are probably strangling them. One section about a foot long and maybe wo inches wide is completely dead now and that is where these air plants were very thick. Very sad.

  • last year

    Based on the photos here, the trees and shrubs look in terrible shape and it is not the air plants causing problems. Particularly the photo many posts up that shows a branch with peeling bark like a birch tree is absolutely done for. That tree is sick and it has nothing to do with the airplant.