Gray fungus -like growth on branches
My crepe myrtles and Encore azaleas keep getting a gray moss-like fungus (?) on the limbs. While researching to identify this, it looks like "Lichens"? However, they said you didn't have to treat because when the crepe myrtle gained better health this would go away. That's hard for me to believe because in the past the "untreated" limbs eventually died and had to be pruned off. Please, help me identify this problem and help me know what to treat my infected crepe myrtles and my Encore azaleas. Whatever this is, it affects many of my other trees and shrubs. i.e. dogwoods, golden chain trees, weeping cherries.... just to name a few. Laura Cagle (865). 248-4265 Kingston, TN.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Hi Laura, Without photos we will have to accept your assessment and identification of the growth as lichens. This is normally not considered a parasite or disease condition, although susceptibility can be a result of weakening of the plant defenses from other issues.
The previous dieback and branch loss could be from water deficit (drought stress) and/or nutrient deficiencies or pest infestation, and not a direct result of the opportunistic lichen.