Debunked: Lichens and Moss on Trees Caused by Chemtrails


Senior Member.
The following posting has shown up recently on Twitter, containing photos of trees partly covered with moss and lichen. The claim is that 'chemtrails' are the cause of this, and the implied subtext is that these things are in some way harmful.

No reference or reason is given for these assumptions.


This claim is bunk.

Lichens are - quite on the contrary - well-researched indicators for good air quality. They are regularly used in science as bio-indicators for air quality monitoring; specific lichen varieties react in certain ways to specific pollutants. Most are affected negatively by sulphur dioxide which is one of the most discussed substances for use in proposed 'geoengineering' measures (solar radiation management).

Moss on tree bark indicates a humid environment. Like lichens, it does not affect the health of a tree. On the other hand, both may be indicators that a tree is in bad health, so cause and effect may be misattributed by laymen.

In a nutshell: be glad if you find lichen on the trees in your area.
Also, SRM by stratospheric sulphur injection would at some point keep lichens from growing.

Here is what the Royal Horticultural Society in GB has to say (my emphasis):
Algae, lichens and moss are found in damp places, as not only do they need moisture for growth but also for reproduction. Lichens are particularly adaptable as they are able to exist where nutrients, and sometimes water, are scarce. However, they grow only very slowly so, unlike moss and algae, are slow to colonise. Lichens prefer areas with clean air, so are more common in rural districts.

Conditions that favour such growths on branches and twigs include:
  • Trees or shrubs which are lacking in vigour, particularly those which are already beginning to die back. In these circumstances the growth of lichen in particular is often unjustly blamed for the poor condition of an affected plant
[ ... ]
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This is from a paper about lichens as bio-indicators from the Forest Service of the US Department of Agriculture, page 4:
Lichens are often likened to canaries in a coal mine because some species are
extremely sensitive to environmental change, a major reason for their popularity as
bioindicators for natural resource assessment.
Content from External Source (full paper available)


Senior Member.
I've seen several YT vids, by average citizens, claiming that lichens and mosses are unusual.
But these conclusions are mostly from people that have never examined their trees closely or previously.....don't know about local nature, and who may not have adequate search skills for discerning what has been a natural occurrence for thousands of years.
(or they are spamming for Youtube "likes")


Senior Member.
The best area in California for lichen and tree moss is Petaluma, where it can almost overtake the local oak tree population.....and it is visually, very beautiful....
Lichens are among the most unique and interesting life forms on the planet. They are symbiotic organisms consisting of a fungal partner and an algal partner or cyanobacterium. The fungal threads, or hyphae, surround and even grow into the algal cells, while providing most of the lichen’s bulk and shape. Lichens absorb water, carbon dioxide and minerals from rainfall and atmospheric moisture. These substances and oxygen are absorbed by fungal hyphae and passed to algal cells. The algal cells, through photosynthesis, manufacture the carbohydrates necessary for the nutritional health of both the fungal and algal partners.
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Most semi-coastal areas of the west......and actually, over most of the non-dry US.


Senior Member.
It also looks like moss is a good way to track the appearance of metals in nature.

I found a pretty interesting report published by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Heavy metals and nitrogen in mosses: spatial patterns in 2010/2011 and long-term temporal trends in Europe.

Aluminum is covered on page 25, for example.


Away from local pollution sources, aluminium is a good indicator of mineral particles, mainly windblown soil dust, as it is present at high concentrations in the earth’s crust. Therefore, the spatial pattern of aluminium concentrations in mosses might provide an indication of the contribution of wind re-suspension to the deposition of metals to mosses, reflecting to some extent historical deposition of heavy metals.
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Regarding the overall appearance of aluminum, the paper concluded:

The average median value has declined by 28% from 1056 to 762 mg kg-1 for the 13 countries reporting aluminium concentrations in both 2005 and 2010.
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It was an interesting counterpoint to CT claims about global chemtrail spraying


  • Finalmossreport2010-11forweb.pdf
    4.5 MB · Views: 936


Senior Member.
Some background on Lichens, and their usefulness...
Some species of lichens are very sensitive to air pollutants. Consequently, urban environments are often highly impoverished in lichen species. Some ecologists have developed schemes by which the intensity of air pollution can be reliably assayed or monitored using the biological responses of lichens in their communities. Monitoring of air quality using lichens can be based on the health and productivity of these organisms in places variously stressed by toxic pollution. Alternatively, the chemical composition of lichens may be assayed, because their tissues can effectively take up and retain sulfur and metals from the atmosphere....

Some lichens are useful as a source of natural dyes. Pigments of some of the more colorful lichens, especially the orange, red, and brown ones, can be extracted by boiling and used to dye wool and other fibers. Other chemicals extracted from lichens include litmus, which was a commonly used acid-base indicator prior to the invention of the pH meter....

...These and other, less charismatic lichens are integral components of their natural ecosystems. These lichens are intrinsically important for this reason, as well as for the relatively minor benefits that they provide to humans...
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