What is this?
I have this same situation on a PJM Azalea(never flowered- leaves dying), two Dwarf Mugo Pines, a Holly( leaves dying...no new growth), and other "small" shrubs. whose names I do not know....This seemed to happen "all at once" this year...all doing poorly. Can you tell ,me what this growth is?...and what effective product I can purchase ( i.e. at Valley View) that will not be deadly to birds,squirrels, etc. Hope you can help. I do have a physical sample that I will bring to Valley View to see if they can share anything with me...but thought I should check with you first.
These are called lichens. They are harmless to trees and shrubs and do not need any treatment. They are interesting organisms (and some would say beautiful) that also can be a sign of good air quality. They grow most readily on still objects-- dead wood, benches, rocks, etc. Younger trees tend to grow more quickly and so are less likely to have them compared to older trees/shrubs.
Here is our page on them: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/lichens-trees-and-shrubs
Thank you! Very helpful and interesting information! Linda