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Moss on interior live oak...verdict?

Discussion in 'Plant Health' started by GreenwoodCA, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. GreenwoodCA

    GreenwoodCA Huh?

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    many of my live oaks have a lacy moss on the bark. By lacy I mean not the dense kind like on rocks, but 2” or so flowy stuff. I’ve read that it’s not bad for the tree, while some people go through the trouble of removing it. I was thinking that the only real damage it could do was retain excessive moisture and cause rot. However, live oak is extremely resistant to rot.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    Ignore the moss, look for oozing tar like black exudate wounds on the trunk and major scaffolding branches. Sure signs of Phytopthera infection(Sudden Oak Death).

    Look for tan top mushrooms at the base of the trunk. Sure sign of Armillaria infection.

    Both these Fungi will kill your live oaks dead as a doornail.

    Have a Certified Arborist just look at them for a hundred bucks, could be money well spent.

    Live oaks are still droppin like flies down here, left n right, SOD mayhem!

    Good luck!

    Jomoco
     
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  3. GreenwoodCA

    GreenwoodCA Huh?

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    This is the moss:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I started another thread about the angle of this tree, if you have a second and can look at it. It’s in the homeowner help forum.

    Thanks!


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  4. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    Lovely moss shot, stuffs harmless.

    Live oaks are super sensitive to grade change, don't bury the base, preserve the original grade.

    SOD picks on elders first, and that one's no spring chicken.

    Thinning upper canopy's the first sign, bleeding black exudate sores the next.

    Your's looks pretty healthy, congrats.

    Jomoco
     
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  5. GreenwoodCA

    GreenwoodCA Huh?

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    Awesome, thank you!


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  6. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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  7. GreenwoodCA

    GreenwoodCA Huh?

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    I read the article. What about native shrub species that fall inside the drip line. They evolved together with the oaks right? I’ve been doing a lot of thinning of small trees and suckers in densely wooded areas to help the healthier trees, but I leave a lot of shrubs and ground level plants so my goats and pigs have something to eat. Bear in mind, none of the flora on my property is artificially placed or imported. Also, I put a little section of fence around most of the big (~150 foot tall) ponderosa, Douglas and white fir trees so the animals won’t eat the bark or disturb the roots. But there are too many trees and I am only one man.

    Another thing I do for the oaks is to mow the natural grasses and clover under the drip line a couple times per spring and summer, but let the clippings fall right where they are cut. We have a lot of clover and grass species that are nitrogen “fixers”. The article mentions that nitrogen is most important for the oaks. So I think the clippings are helping. Should I continue this practice?

    Here are a few of the culprits in their habitat. We’ve quite a few animals domestic and wild. Plus a shot of a typical snow dusting the oaks might get once a year.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


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  8. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    Sounds like you're on the right track bro, let nature happen, don't rake it up n haul it to a landfill!

    Those 8 hp Harvey homeowner bearcat leaf shredders make some mighty fine mulch, especially if yu take your time, doin it slow n methodic.

    The earth worms will bless you sevenfold.

    Jomoco
     
  9. GreenwoodCA

    GreenwoodCA Huh?

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    There must be a decent worm population based on the quantity of moles we have.


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  10. GreenwoodCA

    GreenwoodCA Huh?

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    We’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for a 7” chipper, either a towable or tractor pto driven. We have a Troy bilt chipper with a 7 or 8 horse b&s on it. That little machine definitely requires some patience.


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  11. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That live oak needs aeration of the foliage. It will get rid of the dead or weak interior branches, reduce wind load, stop the tree from wasted energy spent on those weak limbs. It will also look much better.
     

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