Crabapple Tree Has Green Spots On Bark

Question From: Harrison Township, Michigan, United States
Q: I have green spots from 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inches on the bark of flowering crabapple tree. I live in lower Michigan on Lake St Clair. We water from the Clinton River. The tree is 13 years old. Please advise, Thank You.

A: They are probably lichens. They don't harm the tree and I think they add charm. If you wish to remove them scrub the bark with soapy water using and natural bristle brush, Don't overdo and harm the bark. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.