How to Get Rid of Spanish Moss
While some love the look of Spanish Moss hanging off of trees others may not enjoy the sight nearly as much. This plant has long been misunderstood and has become synonymous with the deep South, dispelling the myths is the goal of this article.
Spanish moss is of the bromeliad family of plants, gaining its moisture and nutrients from the air. The myths surrounding Spanish moss are rampant. Being a bromeliad it is not a moss at all. It covers oak trees in the South like dew on a leaf in the morning. Birds use this plant in its abundance to line their nests, crafters use it decorate their art or weave it into blankets, and many a homeowner enjoys the sight of it gracing the branches high and low of their large sturdy oak trees.
Growing in clumps this plant can become extremely soggy from rain or high humidity, when it becomes too heavy it can break branches causing damage to the tree. It is also known to inhibit the growth of new branches if the moss is allowed to gain too much ground on the trees. As annoying as Spanish Moss can be, it is not in any way a parasite nor does it normally cause excessive damage to the tree or the health of the tree. The main objection could be that Spanish Moss inhibits the growth of trees, reducing the amount of the suns light to the trees leaves and branches. The majority of complaints stem from personal preference that it not be allowed to grow on the trees.
If you are one that prefers Spanish Moss to stay off your trees there are a few things that can be done to solve your problem. The first option utilizes copper-based chemicals to kill the moss. While this method does have known success precautions must be taken. Copper-based chemicals can cause major damage to the new and very tender growth of oak trees. It is recommended that trees be sprayed before the trees bud out or later in the season when the growth is not so tender.
Your other option would be to hand pluck the moss out of the tree as it grows and spreads to prevent any further damage to the tree. There are a few artisans that use the moss to accent their craft and even weave it on a loom to create blankets and may take it off your hands if you provide the removal labor. While it has become a love-hate relationship for many Southerners your final option would be to simply live with the look and by the look of the trees down South, that seems to be the favorite option.