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How to eliminate lichen on plants: instructions for removing lichens from the bark and branches of plants and shrubs.
What are lichens?
THElichensthey are extraordinary symbionts! They derive from the symbiosis of an autotrophic organism, a cyanobacterium or an alga and a fungus, usually ascomycete or basidiomycete. The two organisms that form the lichen derive benefits from each other.
The fungus is heterotrophic and survives thanks to the organic compounds produced by the photosynthetic activity of the cyanobacterium or alga. Like any perfect symbiosis, even the autotrophic organism (algae or cyanobacterium) has an advantage: the fungus offers protection, mineral salts and water.
Lichen on plants, are they bad?
Often, the bark of shrubs and trees is attacked by lichens with a leafy appearance like those of the Xanthoria parietina species. THElichensthey often settle on the bark of the main stem and branches of various tree plants, especially broad-leaved trees; they can also settle on shrub plants.
It must be said that fewlichens not they are harmful to plants: they do not establish any parasitic relationship with the trees that host them even if in extreme cases they can cause suffering to the plant. When i lichens they expand covering entire trunks and branches, they can cause a deterioration of the branches and in the long term even the death of the plant.
How to get rid of lichens on plants
I hope you have not yet tried to perform a mechanical removal of thelichens! With scraping, failure is assured because trying to remove thelichensfrom the bark you will do nothing but disperse the spores and therefore favor their settlement on other areas of the plant.
It is not easy to prevent the settlement of the lichens on the plantbut with the right preparations it's not impossible either.
Have you ever wondered why it is rare to observelichenson olive trees, walnuts and other fruit plants such as stone fruit and promaceae? These plants undergo, during the year, various treatments of copper-based products. It is the cupric products that act as a natural repellent against lichens.
By spraying copper-based preparations on the canopy and other parts of the plant, you will probably fail eliminate lichens pre-existing but you will certainly stop its expansion. As anticipated, a few lichens are not harmful to the plant.
For eliminate lichens from a plant or otherwise stop its expansion, you can perform treatments with copper salts. These treatments must be performed during the vegetative rest of the plant to be treated. An excellent copper-based product useful for controlling ed eliminate lichens from the plants is the classic Bordeaux mixture (a mix of copper and lime allowed in organic farming). Equally useful can be copper hydroxide-25 or copper-20 oxychloride, to be diluted in 10 liters respectively at doses of 100 and 40-50 grams.
Where to buy these products?
From your trusted retailer or by buying and selling online. Here are some links from Amazon:
Bordeaux mixture, various purchase proposals.
Copper oxychloride, various purchase proposals.
In the photo above, the lichen of the species Flavoparmelia caperata.
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