Cleaning Live Oak bark

Scrogdor

Mame
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I picked up a coast live oak pre-bonsai over the weekend, it’s about 12 years old( that’s what I was told give or take).

What I noticed today though is it’s bark is much darker than most coast live oaks that I’ve seen, some of its branches are almost black. There is also quite a bit of black soot mold on the leaves as well. I didn’t see any insects besides a centipede.

Is there a way to “clean” the bark and maybe leaves to get it back to light grey/white? Some pics below. Thanks
 

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Wulfskaar

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Nice tree! I can't see anything that looks too bad to me from these pictures. Maybe treat with some fungicide?
 

Scrogdor

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Nice tree! I can't see anything that looks too bad to me from these pictures. Maybe treat with some fungicide?
Yeah, going to try an organic one. Just wondering how people get their coast live oaks so white.
 

BrianBay9

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The light grey bark on coast live oaks is the juvenile bark. As it ages it gets darker and starts to split, eventually looking like their more mature bark. If yours needs a clean up, just use a soft toothbrush and some water or vinegar. If you have lichen you want to keep, don't use the vinegar.
 

Scrogdor

Mame
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The light grey bark on coast live oaks is the juvenile bark. As it ages it gets darker and starts to split, eventually looking like their more mature bark. If yours needs a clean up, just use a soft toothbrush and some water or vinegar. If you have lichen you want to keep, don't use the vinegar.
I'll try a light scrub on some of the branches. Does apple cider vinegar work, or does it matter what kind?
 

BrianBay9

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Doesn't matter what kind of vinegar. Just use the cheapest you have.
 

Forsoothe!

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You can spray with ~10% household bleach in water and rinse it off after it dries. No scrubbing necessary. Don't wear clothes you like.
 

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