18 March 14  |  Golf   |  

Spraying Away Spanish Moss from our Live Oak Trees

Written by Jack Creveling, our Golf Course Superintendent.

Golden Ocala’s vast population of live oak trees throughout our property provides beautiful aesthetics, great for the overall landscape of the club. Unfortunately, Spanish moss finds the live oak to be a perfect host, spoiling the serenity of these trees. The live oak’s mineral leaching leaves contain rare nutrients not commonly found in other trees.

To combat the Spanish moss, a copper-based fungicide is sprayed on the trees to break down the moss and allow for the tree to get more sunlight on its foliage. Spraying the trees also reduces the excess weight of the moss.

Spanish Moss 1

Assistant Superintendent John Rustek spraying last week.

With pressure in excess of 120 lbs per sq. inch (PSI), the liquid fungicide spray shoots almost 30 feet upward into the canopy of the tree. Results can take up to a year to be fully realized, meaning that the moss is fully terminated. However, we hope to start seeing the benefit of our spraying in the coming months, particularly around the vicinity of the Clubhouse where the trees were sprayed.

Spanish Moss 2

The spray nozzle reaching into the tree canopy.

If the results of spraying are positive, termination will be expanded to the areas including the golf course, as well as higher into the canopy with the assistance of a lift.

Keep an eye on the Spanish moss around the Clubhouse this summer and into the fall. You’ll begin to notice the aesthetic changes to the live oak trees as we continue to keep them healthy and looking beautiful!