White Spots On Magnolia

Filed Under: Watering, Diseases and Fungus · Keywords: Plant, Watering, disease, trees, magnolia, pests, watering · 609 Views
I just planted a 10Ft DD Blanchard in my yard about a month ago.While it seems to be doing good, while watering it today I noticed a few white spots on the lower trunck. Is this something I should be worried about?

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Shefali-I believe what you are seeing on your magnolia is some type of lichen. It is an organism that is both a fungus and algae. The bond together to form the white patches you are seeing. There are many types of lichens that can form flat painted looking spots like yours and others that are bumpy or fibrous masses that look like hair. Lichens are normally harmless to the tree as they don't feed on the tree but get their nutrients from the air and moisture. Many thrive in locations of low light and high humidity. If you have a sprinkler system that routinely sprays the trunk where the lichens are growing this can be helping this growth to survive. Although the lichens are harmless to the tree they can detract from the looks of the trunk at times. One way to remove them is to scrub the bark of the tree with a soapy solution. They are normally lightly attached an may come off easily. Don't scrub to hard as you don't want to damage any of the trees bark. I looked and found that spraying copper-sulfate will kill the fungus side of the organism. This can be done in late spring through early fall. During the winter or cool weather this is not effective as the organism is dormant. There is a lot of information and pictures of lichens you can find on the internet to read and see. I noted a few pictures below of lichens on magnolia trunks for you to look at. I don't believe what is shown is harmful to the tree but always keep a close eye on the foliage for any thing that doesn't look normal. Any fungal diseases will usually show up on the leaves indicated by discoloration and or spotting.

Please ask if you have any other questions.


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