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Lichen on fruit trees
We have recently bought a 10 acre block in the far north and there is
a bad problem with lichen smothering both fruit trees and native trees
including mature totara and kahikatea, some of the trees are in a bad
state, although they have full sun etc . How do we treat it? What causes
it etc?. Is it related to possum damage?
Lichens are very sensitive to atmospheric pollution caused by smoke and fumes. They are therefore good indicators of your environmental quality. If they are growing well, it's a sign of clean air.
They also provide 'homes' for overwintering stages of beneficial insects including some predatory mites.
So keep them.