Tuesday, 3 July 2007


Photo: Lichen growing on the rocks at Linsfort beach

It looks as though we should get a bumper harvest of our fruit crops this year. I have seen currant bushes, and all manner of fruit trees falling over with fruit. If you have planted fruit trees this year keep an eye on them to make sure that they are well supported and the roots have plenty of water.

I have some pear trees and they are covered with a silvery growth. What is this and will it damage my crop?

The silvery growth is lichen. Lichens covers about 8% of the earth's surface. There are about 30,000 species known in the world and between five and ten new lichens are discovered in Ireland and the UK each year. They are important to us because they are part of the nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur cycles and they are also vital in the early stages of soil formation. The fact that you have them on your tree is a sure indication that we have clean air around us on the peninsula. They will do no damage to your crop.


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