Tree owners in southwest Texas dread the appearance of ball moss, a small plant from the bromeliad family that attaches to trees and can cause irreparable damage. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with it, but first you must understand how badly ball moss can affect your trees.
What Is Ball Moss?
Ball moss is actually a plant, not a moss, and it looks sort of like a gray sea urchin. Many people mistakenly believe that ball moss is a parasite, but its relationship to trees is a little more complicated. Sort of like the air plants that are so popular these days, ball moss gets its nutrients from the atmosphere, not from trees.
This can be confusing to the uninformed, since ball moss attaches itself to trees. While the moss can do damage, it’s not because it is parasitically draining a tree’s nutrients.
Ball Moss and Tree Health
Many people have ball moss removed because they don’t like the way it looks, plus there’s the whole parasite rumor. However, ball moss can do real harm by weighing down a tree’s branches and possibly by constricting branches that it clings to. Trees infected with ball moss are more likely to lose limbs during storms, making them hazards to people and animals.
Some naturalists argue that people should leave ball moss alone since it’s a native plant, but the choice is really up to tree owners. Ball moss may not look very nice to some folks, plus it turn beloved trees into dangerous hazards.
Hire a Professional
If you decide that it’s time for the ball moss in your trees to go, don’t try to remove it yourself. One reason is that you never know if the moss has weakened tree branches, creating a situation where they could fall off. Sometimes structural problems that look small can actually be more widespread.
Another way ball moss can affect your trees is via the insects that populate its cozy environs. Ball moss makes a perfect multifamily condominium for insects needing a good home. While many of these insects may be harmless, more harmful pests may have nested in your tree as well.
Always hire a professional to remove ball moss since you never know exactly what you may be dealing with. If you need ball moss removal in Austin, TX, call Sid Mourning Tree Services. We’re a long-standing provider of tree services in the area, and we believe in helping both trees and the people who own them.