Is ball moss on my live oak trees a problem? My St. Augustine lawn started to decline
In San Antonio, several of Marsha Gear’s live oak trees are sporting ball moss. She’s new to Texas and has heard conflicting information. Is it okay or not?
Well Marsha, what you may have heard on the positive side is that ball moss is not a parasite, but on the negative side, it does proliferate quickly, covering limbs and inhibiting the production of new leaves, thus greatly reducing the tree’s capacity to photosynthesize and grow. In short, ball moss will cause trees to decline if allowed to run rampant, and should be removed for the long-term health of the tree.
And Carol Boeck has a problem with her St. Augustine lawn. It was very healthy until late summer of 2018. Then, it started to decline, spreading to about two-thirds of the area. It was easily pulled up from the soil, though some roots are still strong.
In some areas, new growth and healthy green runners have recently appeared. Is this a fungal disease or was it drought?
From the photo of your entire lawn, the issue does not appear to be fungal but more likely a drought issue. But the description that you give of easily pulled grass separating from the roots and from your closeup of photo of one area, there could be some fungal issues as well, so I believe that you have multiple issues going on.
Keep a close eye on soil moisture as new growth appears this spring, making sure that areas are neither too wet, nor too dry. Document with notes and photos, and get back in touch. We’ll need a little more info before we can provide potential answers on this one.
In Waco, Sheila Smith’s busy making tabbouleh with her homegrown mint and parsley.
At the Giving Garden of Carrollton in North Texas, volunteers are harvesting asparagus for needy senior citizens who don’t usually get fresh asparagus in food pantries. Now that the garden’s dedicated beds are five years old, they’re cutting spears daily.
And we apologize to plantsman James Lidgey for an incorrect species label on the trout lily he recently shared. This delicate beauty is Erythronium albidum, aka white dogtooth violet, not yellow trout lily, Erythonium americanum.