If you find something growing on your tree, you may worry it is a parasitic plant. However, there are lots of things that grow on trees that are not necessarily parasitic. Read on to learn more about the things that may grow on your tree and how you can treat each one. 

1. Lichen

If you see a tree branch that's grown a lot of lichen and notice that the branch has died, you may understandably think that the lichen has sapped the life from that tree branch. But actually, lichen doesn't steal the tree's nutrients; it simply thrives in conditions that are unhealthy for branches, and may even grow better on a branch that's in distress.

So if you see lichen, it's a sign the branch or the tree is unhealthy, but the lichen itself is not the cause. You should call your tree services expert to remove any dead branches, but don't be concerned that the lichen will spread and harm healthy tree branches.

2. Ivy

Ivy is a climber that actually puts roots into the bark of trees as it climbs. So it would make sense to think that it's parasitizing the tree. However, these roots are for support and don't actually harvest the tree's sap or energy. Too much ivy can weigh down a tree and cause structural problems, but a little typically won't harm it. You can have your tree services professional trim the ivy back at each visit so it doesn't weigh down the tree too much.  

3. Kudzu

Kudzu grows like ivy on steroids. It climbs up trees and eventually engulfs them, stealing their light and using their structural support, which may collapse under the multitudes of heavy kudzu vines. Kudzu can grow alarmingly fast, but it is not a parasitic plant. Unlike ivy, it generally doesn't even put roots into the tree bark. Instead, it attaches to trees by twining around their trunks and branches with its vines and tendrils.

However, because it does grow so aggressively, kudzu can be a more serious and urgent problem than ivy. You can't simply trim it back a couple of times a year to maintain it. You'll likely need to make an effort to eradicate it, then monitor the area for signs of resurgence. Your tree services contractor can help you remove any kudzu from your trees.

As you can see, not every plant that grows on a tree is parasitic. However, finding these things growing in your trees may still mean you need to take action by calling your tree services contractor. To learn more, check out a site like https://www.hodgsontreeservice.com/.