Are you lichen my style?

First time post, short time Mirai member. I collected several larch from a bog in Wisconsin. Besides the mounds of moss that was on the base. The tops are covered in lichens. I understand lichens will break down the bark on the trees. The first pic is the oldest tree at 50 + years old and the second is at least 30.
What would you members do to these trees? Would you consider this as patina for trees and leave it. Or possibly leave it for aesthetic reasons with the contrasting colors between the lichens and bright green spring foliage and the gold fall colors. Or take some vinegar and remove it completely?
Thanks in advance for your opinions.


I would leave the lichen.
From what Ryan has discussed and my understanding lichen will not harm the bark in the way moss would. Lichen is self-sustaining – it doesn’t take any nutrients from the tree that it’s on. Their rhizines typically do not penetrate deep enough into the inner bark, and cause no harm to the trees they inhabit.


Thanks, not sure if any of the branches covered will ever be used in a future design but I might try to preserve some on the trunk. There’s dead wood at the top of the big one and I think it caused it to start sprouting all over. Those might be the branches used in the future.

I would also leave the lichen, you can always remove it later if it bothers you. It ads character and age to a tree.

Thanks Robert, maybe one day I’ll be able to call one of these a bonsai.