diseased apple branches

Asked August 28, 2016, 8:29 PM EDT

What has caused the branches on our apple tree to be coated with a thick white coating?

Anoka County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The white growth on your tree appears to be lichen, a harmless organism that is part fungus, part algae. It doesn't harm plants, but often shows up more heavily on plants that are in poor health. Your tree has dark bark, missing limbs and damage to the trunk, indicating that it is failing. I'm sorry my prognosis isn't better. Here is a fact sheet on lichen in case you want to know more. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/lichens-trees-and-shrubs