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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - February 01, 2007

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Diagnosis of problem and treatment of damaged Cedar Elm
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Part of our mature Cedar Elm looked damaged last summer. We were advised by a landscape designer to spray it with Kocide in late January as a treatment. Is there an alternative to this? Should we have an arborist look at the tree first? We have a 2 year old house and landscape and this mature cedar elm was on the lot.

ANSWER:

Without more specific information about the nature of the damage to your tree, we cannot give you an informed answer about its care. However, having a certified arborist look at your tree and give you specific recommendations about its treatment and care is an excellent idea.

KOCIDE® 101 is a DuPont registered fungicide/bactericide. Its active ingredient is Copper Hydroxide. KOCIDE® 101 is labeled for the treatment of Ballmoss in pecan and live oak. It is not labeled for use on cedar elm, nor are any other KOCIDE® formulations we could find. If you do find a formulation labeled for this use be sure to read, understand and follow the label directions just as you would with any pesticide.

While many people are bothered by the presence of Ballmoss in their trees, it rarely does any damage to them. In rare cases, severe infestations of Ballmoss may block enough sunlight to be detrimental to the host tree or may break some limbs due to its added weight. Ballmoss, Tillandsia recurvata is not a parasite. Rather, it is an epiphyte, meaning that it gets all of its nutritional needs from the air and rainwater. Ballmoss merely uses it's host tree as an anchor upon which to grow. In the pineapple family, it is closely related to Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides.

 

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