Crazy abundant moss?

Asked March 14, 2016, 11:21 PM EDT

Is it just my imagination or has the tree moss been unusually thick and bright this winter and last? I notice it mostly in my neighborhood, which is near the southern edge of Washington County between Sherwood and Newberg. Has the warmer wetter weather in fact caused it to be extra lush?

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question and your curiosity. It is difficult to say for sure if the moss in your area is unusually thick this year, but it is possible.

Mosses do not have a vascular system (or water/nutrient conducting system) like trees or other many other plants you may be familiar with, so they need to live in places where there is plenty of water to keep them moist. They also depend on abundant water for reproduction. Instead of creating a seed, they release their sperm into the surrounding water to find and combine with a female shoot, which then results in spores that release into the environment to create new adult plants. So you can imagine in years when there is abundant water, like this winter for example, moss is able to reproduce more effectively.

Please let me know if you have any further questions about this response.