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John from Austin Texas writes

Austin Texas, Ball moss in Very old Live oak trees?

What to you recommend to spray a lot of ball moss in 2 Giant live oak trees I have heard lime works? In bermuda yard.

Answer:

Ballmoss isn't a moss, but a true plant with flowers and seed. Unfortunately, we do not have a herbicide that is labeled for Ballmoss. Some people use Baking Soda to kill the Ballmoss. You would mix 1/2 lb of baking soda per gallon or 50 lbs per 100 gallons and spray the Ballmoss directly. However, you can greatly reduce a ballmoss population by pruning all of the deadwood out of the tree and by thinning the canopy every five years. This pruning regime is consistent with proper tree maintenance. One word of caution, due to the threat of oak wilt, prune during the hottest or coldest times of the year and paint all pruning wounds immediately (saw in one hand, paint in the other). By cutting the deadwood, you will remove 70% or more of the ballmoss in that tree.

Answer last updated on: 02/18/2014

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