What is Ball Moss and Should it Be Removed?


If you’ve noticed little ball-shaped growths on your trees, you’re likely encountering what’s known as ball moss. Ball moss is commonly found on oak trees, as well as fences, and utility wires in the central and southern portions of Texas. To learn more about ball moss and its removal process read on below!

What is Ball Moss?

Although referred to as a moss, ball moss is actually not moss at all. Rather, ball moss is a type of plant. This distinction is made because ball moss produces flowers and its own seeds as a plant would, whereas moss does not. 

The other misconception surrounding ball moss is that ball moss is a parasite that extracts nutrients from the trees it clings to, as ball moss is typically found on tree limbs that are dead or dying. However, ball moss frequents those areas because they’re receiving low levels of sunlight and wind, and high levels of humidity – where ball moss thrives. Rather than thinking of ball moss as the cause of your tree’s decline in health, think of it as a side effect. 

Should Ball Moss Be Removed?

The primary concern surrounding ball moss is that ball moss detracts from a tree’s natural beauty; ball moss can quickly make your yard look unkempt and unmanicured. Besides the cosmetic reasons, some experts believe that a heavy presence of ball moss can cause unneeded weight on tree limbs as well as create too much shade for the lower extremities – leading to the further decline in your tree’s health. 

How Should Ball Moss Be Treated?

The Texas A&M Forestry Department recommends the two-step process we typically utilize for our ball moss removal clients. The first step is to remove the ball moss by plucking it from the trees. Secondly, we prune the tree to remove the dead and infected branches. During this pruning process we also take care to thin your tree’s canopy to allow additional sunlight to penetrate, thereby reducing the chances of the ball moss recurring. 

Depending on the time of year, a common concern with oak pruning is oak wilt – caused by the Bretziella fagacearum fungus – that causes leaf discoloration, wilt, and tree death. However, our tree experts take care to reduce the chances of oak wilt with a tree wound dressing. So, when you choose Brents Tree Service not only will your tree be free of ball moss and its dead and diseased limbs, but it will also undergo infection preventative maintenance. 

Our ball moss removal treatments start at $225! If you’re in the Central Texas area, give us a call to set up a consultation. Our experts will be able to provide the perfect treatment plan for your trees to get them in tip-top shape. We look forward to hearing about your project!