Removing Moss and Ivy from an Oak Tree Removing Moss and Ivy from an Oak Tree

The oak tree, a healthy fast-growing, long-lived species, makes an ideal host for moss and ivy. These can be removed to return the tree to an unblemished appearance. You may need to repeat the process a few times over the oak's lifetime.

How to Remove Moss from an Oak Tree

The oak tree in the Northern Hemisphere grows a useful green-grey moss, Evernia prunastri, that is harvested and used to stabilize scent mixtures in perfumes. Oakmoss is a deciduous tree lichen that also grows on pine and fir trees.

Oakmoss is removed with razor cutters that slice into the bark, allowing fungus spores to enter. Since oakmoss does not harm the bark, assess the potential damage to your oak tree before removing it.

How to Remove Ivy from an Oak Tree

Many ivy types, on the other hand, can drain the life of an oak tree and should be removed at the earliest possible stage.

Find the roots of the ivy where the vines emerge at ground level. Apply a tree-safe herbicide to these, then extract the vines from the ground if you can. Detach the vines and tendrils from the trunk and branches gently, cutting sparingly to prevent wounding the bark.

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