What is Moss, Algae and Lichen

Algae (a green or black scum) and moss are usually problems in shaded, over-wet or badly drained and compacted sections of the lawn and garden. If the soil is compacted, spike it with a garden fork to improve drainage, and if there is too much shade, cut back trees or shrubs to let in more sunlight. If the ground is too wet you may have to construct drains to take away the excess water. 

Trees which are lacking in vigour and already dying back, often have moss or lichens growing on the bark. It also can occur on healthy trees where the humidity is high. The moss or lichen itself does not actually affect the health of the tree as they are non-parasitic organisms. For lichen in trees, improve air circulation by pruning overcrowded branches and any overhanging growth from neighbouring plants. Improve plant health by watering, mulching and applying a fertiliser. 

Recommended products

More articles


Lantana is a dense bush which scrambles over roadsides, nature reserves and neglected gardens, especially in areas close to the sea.

Onion Weed

Onion weed stinks and Yates can help rid your garden of this unpleasant weed. Known for its hardiness, we can help you remove it effectively with our products.


Ivy is a spreading and climbing vine and is a very hardy plant growing in a wide variety of habitats and soils.


Cut established trees close to the ground and paint immediately with a solution of Yates Tree and Blackberry killer mixed at the recommended strength.