Nature Notes: Moss on Trees

tree growth
I’ve been noticing yellow growth on trees. This tree above is my neighbor’s tree.

tree with yellow in the snow
I first started noticing yellow on local trees a few weeks ago when I was taking pictures of one of our brief snowstorms.

yellow spot on tree

I don’t know if the moss is a problem or just part of nature. I found this on Wikipedia: “In northern latitudes, the north side of trees and rocks will generally have more moss on average than other sides (though south-side outcroppings are not unknown). This is assumed to be because of the lack of sufficient water for reproduction on the sun-facing side of trees. South of the equator the reverse is true. In deep forests where sunlight does not penetrate, mosses grow equally well on all sides of the tree trunk.”

And just for the fun of it, here is a cardinal I saw in my neighbor’s yard this week:
cardinal with his mouth open

Do you think he’s talking to me? For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

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11 thoughts on “Nature Notes: Moss on Trees

  • Now that is something I will have to go out and look for. I know our lilac bushes have something growing on the woody parts, but I don’t know if its moss. Interesting and goes to prove that there is stuff to explore even in winter. Thank you for posting to Nature Notes… Michelle

    The cardinal is saying “Feed Me”….lol

  • I love to find moss and other growths on trees (assuming they aren’t diseased). These are very beautiful to me. I am very fond of cardinals so I enjoyed that last shot.

  • Hi there Leora, nice to make your acquaintance. I thought I was the only person who took photos of nature in her backyard and locale! I have some great bald eagle photos I took last January. But, I enjoy your blog, its so wholesome, so comfortable. Thank you so much for your RT I welcome friends like you. I’m following you back on Twitter, and requested your friendship on FB.

  • I cannot tell for certain from this distance — Highland Park is not close — but it looks as if your moss may actually be a lichen. If so, it’s harmless to the tree, grows better in winter because it receives more moisture and sunlight on the leafless trees and indicates your air quality is pretty good. I’m just speculating. It will be interesting to hear what the tree expert says.

    Cool shot of Mr. Cardinal.

    • I did find some mention of lichens, so if that’s what it is, good to know. I’ll make some inquiries. Glad to hear it is a sign of good air quality.

      Thank you so much for leaving a note on my blog.

  • Love the shot of the cardinal!

    I know very little abut moss but I’ve noticed something similar on an apple tree in my yard. Hmmm. I guess I should investigate….someday soon. 🙂

  • That cardinal certainly does seem to be looking at you. I don’t know what the yellow is on your trees, but I have seen a good bit of it here, too. I’ll be interested in the tree expert’s opinion.

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