London (change)
11 messages
28/08/2013 at 14:07

Hi all,

I have recently acquired a property with a garden and admit that I am a newbie but am very eager to learn. 

I need some help advice to identify what appears to be a white fungus that is growing all over the trees and plants, and spreading through the garden to the other plants. I have included some pictures of this white fungus that is growing.


Any help would be appreciated.

28/08/2013 at 14:14

If you mean that stuff on the bark it is lichen and totally harmless. It only grows where the air is pure, so must be a good sign.

28/08/2013 at 14:16

I wanted to see where you come from so I clicked on your picture and got me instead of you, so there is still a problem with this site. When I click on my picture I get Wyre Forest which isn't me.

28/08/2013 at 14:58

I love lichens

28/08/2013 at 15:03

I,ve just tried that BL and I got me as well,on the plus side did get one noification this morning.

Welcome Emelia

,Look to be lovely big apples,agree with the lichen comments.

28/08/2013 at 16:10

@Busy-Lizzie. Thanks. I'm from Coventry. The Lichen is spreading to other plants, having already covered three of the apple trees in the garden. They went over a rose plant and the bark went brittle. Next to it is a lovely tall tree (I have no idea of the name ) where loads and loads of butterflies hover around. This tree is beginning to show signs of this Lichen growing on it. The Lavender bush (one that I know ), the leaves et al have almost gone with this lichen grown all over it. This is spreading. What can I do to protect these plants?


@GillyL. They are lovely apples. I've noticed something is eating through them. Any tips to stop whoever is eating them?

28/08/2013 at 18:08

Now that is strange. I've never seen lichen on lavender or roses. I have lots on my apple trees. Are you sure it's the same thing?

28/08/2013 at 20:01

The stuff on the apple tree is a lichen as others have said.  However, even the fastest growing lichen only grows at 1cm per year, so I think the other plants you mention are covered in something else - most probably powdery mildew.

Lichen will only grow where the air is of excellent quality as it is killed by pollution so having it is a good sign.

Powdery mildew on the other hand is a pain:


29/08/2013 at 11:06

@Busy-Lizzie. I've attached some pictures. Picture 1 illustrates the Lichen on the Roses and Picture 2 illustrates the state of one of the Rose bushes after this Lichen has "left" it.

I have taken a picture of the flowers from the plant/bush were loads of butterflies congregate (Picture 3) and the condition of the trunk/branches (Picture 4). Is this normal?

As for the lavender, it was okay one week and the next, about 90% of the flowers have died. Here is the picture of the root/branch:

As for the apples, can anyone shed any light on what is "eating" the lovely apples?

 Thank you for your responses! I do appreciate them.

29/08/2013 at 11:09

@BobtheGardener. Thanks for the link. I have checked and can verify based on the information in the link that the plants do not have powdery mildew.

29/08/2013 at 19:31

Hi Emelia, That is indeed lichen on the very old/dead wood of the rose and lavendar (pics 1 and 5) - nothing to worry about.  Lavendar needs regular pruning to prevent them getting leggy and full of old wood like that, so it's probably been neglected and is now well past its prime - might be time to let it go.  The old dead wood on the rose needs cutiing off when you prune it next Spring.  However, the yellow stuff on pic 2 is some kind of fungi - cut that (dead) branch off flush with the main stem now.  The stems of the buddleia are just old and do go like that.  To keep them tidy you should prune all stems on buddleias back hard in Spring and they will sprout fresh new growth.  The specks on the apples are where a wasp, or bug has had a 'taste', or where a moth has laid an egg.  Normally they are only surface blemishes, quite edible and nothing to worry about.  There is a small possibility that a wasp or moth has laid eggs inside though, so when they are ripe simply peel the skin off where the marks are - if no sign of grubs, no problem.

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