Why is My Tree Growing Moss?

Growing a strong, healthy tree can be symbolic of raising a child.  They both require a lot of love, attention, nourishment and support.  As they grow older their roots and foundation will become more defined, pronounced and stronger.  With continual love both will grow into something astounding and mesmerizing.  They will always be your baby so it’s natural that you will always do what you can to see them healthy and strong. 

When you see signs of distress on your tree, or things that naturally shouldn’t be there, it’s a cause for alarm and you immediately look for ways to get rid of it.  So when you see a growth such as moss next to your tree, you’re naturally inclined to call your local arborist to come out and inspect the surrounding environment.  Is moss a bad thing?  Will it cause your tree to die?  Must it be killed off?  Here are a few things you may not know about moss.

Moss on Branches

It’s not uncommon to see moss growing abundantly in dense forest, but it’s also known to be prominent in residential areas as well.  But why is it taking over?  The reason moss grows on your tree branches is due to the amount of moisture in the air, but it’s also due to the lack of immediate sunlight as well as a sign that the air is not polluted. 

In many ways, moss can actually give your trees and other ornamental pieces character and some charm.  On the other hand, moss contains a lot of moisture and is very heavy.  If it grows in abundance on your branches, then it could weigh them down causing the branches to snap and potentially hurt someone.  If you see the branches arching towards the ground then it would be a good idea to call for emergency tree service to have a professional cut down the branch.  Snapping of tree branches could also draw opportunistic bugs and diseases to the tree causing a tremendous amount of harm.  Conversely, instead of cutting away at tree branches you may way to find a way to increase the amount of light that reaches the branch.  Artificial light may also help.

Air Pollution

The presence of moss is typically a good sign when it comes to air quality.  It does not grow very well at all in the presence of air pollution as it is extremely sensitive to airborne particulates such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, CFC’s and nitrogen oxides.  Moss also helps to clean out the air by absorbing carbon in the air and storing it in its tissue.  In reality, the more moss that is found, the cleaner the air.  When this happens, it’s known as carbon sink. 


Moss also doesn’t grow tall, but its roots grow nicely into the soil.  For that reason, moss can keep soil intact in hilly or sloped land.  In cases where heavy rains occur, moss prevents erosion from taking place and keeps soil compact and packed. 

The presence of moss usually makes most homeowners concerned.  This is likely because moss is associated with more humid climates that typically see more fungal activity.  Though moss spreads by spores, it’s very harmless and won’t do any damage to your trees or garden.  In fact, it’s often a good sign and indicates low pollution levels in the air.  Learn to live with this archaic greenery that gives character and charm to your lawn and trees.