Have you ever noticed those little tumbleweed looking balls attached to the branches our local trees. You might have seen them in our lovely live oaks or sweet olive trees but they seem to be most prevalent in the crepe myrtles. Those little puff balls are known as ball moss. Ball moss or Tillandsia recurvata is related to Spanish moss. They both live on host plants, but do not rob them of nutrients. There are some trees in Baton Rouge and in the Garden District where the ball moss has filled the tree and blocked the sunlight from the leaves, weakening the tree. Ball moss flowers in the spring. The seeds will scatter with the wind so the moss will take up residency in nearby trees. You might want to remove the balls from your trees before they become a problem. Our crepe myrtle trees are susceptible. For more information, please read the excellent article from the Advocate, which was reprinted in the Baton Rouge Green Newsletter.
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