Red maple tree

Asked March 30, 2018, 10:37 AM EDT

Hi, attached is a picture of a red maple tree in our front yard- the tree has been there for over 30 years. Can you tell us what is growing on the trunk and branches, as shown in the picture?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

This is lichen, a combination of algae and fungus. It does not harm trees. However, it can become more common in declining trees.

There are many kinds of lichen that grow on plants, dead wood or rocks. The one you see is very common: