Spirea Have Some Dead Branches With Small Blue Spots

Question From: J. Wilder - Englewood, Ohio, United States
Q: We have several Spirea that have blue spots on the branches and the branches are dead. All of it is on the wood and looks like maybe a moss. The spots are small. The leaves on the non dead branches appear healthy. What is this?

A: The blue spots are lichens and did not kill the branches. Something else is amiss, probably winter kill. Many shrubs suffered dieback from severe cold this winter. Just be sure to keep them well watered this summer. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy