How to Kill Ball Moss


Ball moss can be quite the nuisance for people living in the southern part of the United States, as well as those as far south as Chile. This plant, which is not a true moss but rather a relative of the pineapple, grows on trees and fences and is spread by the wind blowing its seeds around. While ball moss hardly affects healthy trees, it can prove detrimental to trees that are not in the greatest health. Many people feel ball moss is rather unsightly and wish to remove it. Doing so takes relatively few steps and requires few resources.

Things You'll Need

  • High-pressure cold water sprayer
  • Pruning shears
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Copper fungicide
  • Use a garden hose and attach a high-pressure nozzle to it. Turn the water on and direct the spray at the ball moss. This should knock them off of the tree, but will not ensure that more do not show up later on.

  • Use your pruning shears to remove any and all dead wood from your trees. Ball moss tends to grow on dead or dying limbs, so removing them will decrease your odds of the ball moss returning.

  • Mix up a mixture of baking soda and water. You will need 1/2 pound of baking soda for every one gallon of water. For example, if you use 10 gallons of water, you will need five pounds of baking soda. Put the mixture in a sprayer and spray all around areas of the tree where ball moss is located.

  • Use a copper fungicide if the above efforts have failed. You can find copper fungicide at garden supply stores or online at gardening sites. Take the fungicide and spray the areas affected by ball moss. It can take the ball moss years to fall off with this method, however.

Tips & Warnings

  • Since ball moss does not actually kill trees, try looking at other reasons for your tree dying, if that is the case. Only use pruning wound paint when dealing with trees that may be infected with oak wilt disease, or you may do more harm than good. Contact a licensed landscaper if you cannot control the ball moss on your own to avoid damage to your trees.
  • Copper fungicides can stain sidewalks blue. Avoid spraying the ground as much as possible. When using the high-powered water spray, take care not to blow off any bark or break any limbs.

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