Understanding Ball Moss On Your Trees

We offer removal of ball moss from trees on your property. But what exactly is this type of moss and why does it need to be removed? Why would the state of Georgia list this bad-boy of plants as a “special concern?” Check out our breakdown below so you can judge for yourself.

Ball Moss: Origins

Its scientific name is tillandsia recurvata. Because that name is 1) hard to remember and 2) difficult to say, it has been given a new name. But why “ball moss?” The “ball” part of the name is easily explained by just looking at the plant – it has a shape of a balled fist that is made of clumped-up branches. But why refer to it as a ball of moss when there isn’t any moss in it? Get ready to get confused. Ball moss is referred to a moss because it has a physical resemblance to Spanish moss. But, get this, Spanish moss isn’t a true moss either! That leaves us with a fairly odd yet simple name.


Ball moss grows on trees (and sometimes wiring.) Because of this, many people have falsely assumed that ball moss is sucking away nutrients from its “host” tree. It’s not quite like the mistletoe species that become a parasite to the tree. You’ll need an Arborist to take a look at it.

Ball moss is simply an epiphyte type of plant. This term means that a plant grows on other plants but isn’t acting as a direct parasite that takes away nutrients. It’s an odd beast that tends to hang out up high and with it’s strange look of appearing like a balled up bird nest, it’s pretty unique. Some people like the rustic appearance of it while seemingly many more despise it!


Though you shouldn’t be concerned that the ball moss on your tree is directly sucking away nutrients from your tree, it is a concern that this organism is possibly taking away sunlight and blocking certain growth from your tree. This concern should grow if there are lots of ball moss organisms on a single tree. Additionally, many homeowners find this species to be an unattractive addition to their property and want them removed for mainly aesthetic reasons.

Where do you stand when it comes to this epiphyte? Hate it and want it gone or are you not worried at all about it? Now that you have the knowledge of its look, are you noticing ball moss more and more?

Most importantly, do you have some tillandsia recurvata growing on your trees? If you do and would like them removed from Austin’s best ball moss removal service, then give us a call at 512.310.8789.