What do I … Spots or White Powder on Crape Myrtle Leaves? As a reminder, crape murder is the extreme pruning of crapemyrtles that results in weakened and deformed trees. If you aren’t sure how to properly prune your crapemyrtles, check out this post. At first, we thought that this was a reaction to the drought. Okay, jumping off that soapbox, let’s talk about the Crapemyrtle Bark Scale. In old, overgrown landscapes, mosses and lichens are a common sight on trunks and branches of trees and shrubs. In sunny areas, algae and fungus combine to produce lichens. The gnarly tissues are more puzzling. Q: I trimmed my crepe myrtles back recently and there was a lot of mossy green ruffly stuff growing on the branches.They haven't been blooming very well either. Queen's crepe myrtle, L. speciosa, grows only in the Tropical South. Its deep green foliage and bright-colored blooms last throughout the summer and its interestingly textured trunk accents the landscape in winter. Like the algae, lichens manufacture their own food. We have a 30 foot crape myrtle in our Austin backyard (see photo) In the last three years, the leaves have become redder and the tree weeps. With crape myrtles, the life of lichens and moss is often short-lived as these trees and shrubs shed their bark to cleanse the surface. Like all trees, Crape Myrtles can develop fungus or mildew on their leaves. Asked September 5, 2016, 4:26 PM EDT. However, the Crape Myrtle does boast a higher resistance to pests and diseases than other flowering tree varieties, and when they are affected, the issues are easy to mediate quickly. Lichens are fungal epiphytes, not parasites, meaning they get their nutrients from the air, not the tree they’re growing on. When to know a crape myrtle is dying. Fungus on Crape Myrtles. The gray growths are called lichens and they are harmless. On large shrubs and trees, remove basal suckers, twiggy growth, crossing branches, and branches growing toward the center of the plant. They almost look like the aftermath of physical injury, perhaps from hail damage or an animal chewing. Dec 22, 2017 - Lichens are more likely to grow on crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) in areas with long periods of high humidity and on branches exposed to full sun. Many leaves fall during the summer, although some are the normal green. Lichens have two components—a fungus and an alga living in association with one another to give the appearance of a single plant. They are symbiotic growths of algae and funguses as they nourish one another. Rarely are they found in water. Lichens grow on soil, on trunks and branches of trees and shrubs, and on rocks. 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