Spanish Moss oF Oak

Disease Information

Spanish Moss

Symptoms and damage

Spanish moss (Tillandsiausneoides) is an epiphyte. An epiphyte is an organism that lives upon a plant, using only the plant for support and protection. Spanish moss does not feed directly on the tree but obtains its water and nutrients from the air and rain. Spanish moss is limited to warm, humid areas of the southern and coastal regions of the state. Each bundle of moss is made up of a mass of long, gray-green filaments, which are its stems and leaves. Since the leaves of Spanish moss require sunlight to produce their own food, it is usually found in trees that are in a state of decline. Heavy infestations of Spanish moss can lead to further tree decline by shading out lower leaves and the weight of large masses of wet Spanish moss can lead to limb breakage.

Management

Increasing tree vigor through proper watering and fertilization is one way to restrict the growth of Spanish moss. Removal by hand may also be necessary to rid the tree completely

 



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