Can anyone explain?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by redfifi1717, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. redfifi1717

    redfifi1717 Gardener

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    Hi,
    In my garden at work, one of the fruit trees has this addition on it? The holly is also at the very end of some branches, but hasn't got it's prickles yet! I know mistltoe needs a host to grow on but didn't think this applied to holly as well! One friend suggested it has come up thro' the root stock if it was grafted....I think the tree is quite old.
    Just curious to know what other folk may think.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Liz

    Liz Gardener

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    That is quite an amazing growth of lichen! Have you looked closely to see if there is a stem for the holly underneath it [or maybe underneath the bark of the tree]? If the tree is alive this isn't likely, but can't see from photograph.
     
  3. frogesque

    frogesque Gardener

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    It's possible that seeds have been deposited by birds into the bark of the tree and are getting enough water and nutrient to survive. I have seen it once before in a cleft of a living beach tree where leaves and other debris had collected.
     
  4. SteveW

    SteveW Gardener

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    Do you know what kind of fruit tree it is?

    The gardens look good in the background [​IMG]
     
  5. redfifi1717

    redfifi1717 Gardener

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    Hi SteveW,
    No I am not sure of the tree, probably an apple tree. I have only been working at this garden for 5 weeks, so am waiting to see what a lot of things are once spring arrives!. There are a lot of fruit trees in the garden , and one of the elderly residents, [86!] did tell me this one was an apple tree! Yes, the previous gardener did leave everything in fine order, but apparently he had an aversion to planting things, so there is plenty of scope and empty borders for me to experiment with.! I'm quite excited!
    Yes, a lot of the trees there have a good coating of lichen! Is that good? bad? best to get rid of? and how, or fine to leave it? Mostly trees facing North seem to be affected.
     
  6. Liz

    Liz Gardener

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    Lichen does not harm the trees. It will grow more on North facing side, this is a tip for finding your way without compass or sun! It is more common on old or struggling trees but mainly because of crowded branches. It likes a moist atmosphere.
    I wouldn't try to remove it.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Palustris

    Palustris Total Gardener

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    I too have seen baby trees and other things growing in the lichen and moss on an old tree. The lichen itself does no harm to the tree on which it is growing. BUT, it can provide a home for various insect pests which may damage the tree and its fruit. I know of one collection of old apple cultivars where removing the lichen had a really staggering effect on the quality of the fruit. They removed the lichen by using a pressure spray, carefuly set so it did not damage the bark, but washed off the growth. If the fruit is not wanted then leave the lichen where it is and enjoy. By the way, if the holly IS growing in the lichen it will not get much bigger, unless its roots can reach the ground.

    [ 16. February 2006, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: Palustris ]
     
  8. redfifi1717

    redfifi1717 Gardener

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    I am not at work today but will have a closer inspection of the holly tomorrow. IF the holly is growing on the lichen as is the photo, what is the explanation for the holly at the end of the branches?!!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Gardener

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    It's not a very poorly Holly tree is it?
     
  10. redfifi1717

    redfifi1717 Gardener

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  11. redfifi1717

    redfifi1717 Gardener

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    ....sorry, I meant to add LOL!!
     
  12. Liz

    Liz Gardener

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  13. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Surely it must be a holly tree, nearly dead, covered in lichen, those branches dont look like apple to me. [​IMG]
     
  14. rudham1

    rudham1 Gardener

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    i agree with you pete, that cannot be an apple tree! not a chance i've pruned enough of them! that looks like holly, very straight branches>
     
  15. frogesque

    frogesque Gardener

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    It's a holly tree :D

    Inspect the tree and the ground round about it, it looks highly stressed and you could have a Honey Fungus (Armillaria) problem especially if there are fruit trees in the garden as well.
    Organic Gardening Factsheet : Honey Fungus

    [ 16. February 2006, 10:28 PM: Message edited by: frogesque ]
     
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