Most people love to hate ball moss. Contrary to rumor, it is not a parasite. Ball moss is a living plant that gets its moisture from the air. It clings to branches the same way that vines cling to walls.
Dead branches in the deep shade are prime real estate due to cooler temperatures and higher humidity. Ball moss did not kill these branches. The interior branches died first from lack of sunlight, a typical occurrence in many healthy trees. Ball moss in small amounts on interior branches does not impact the health of the tree.
Ball Moss In Large Quantities
Ball moss in large quantities can become a problem if it grows over living branches. When it gets so thick that leaves can't get enough sunlight and buds can't open, the occupied branches may decline and die slowly. This isn't common but it does happen.
Read all about ball moss in this Texas Agricultural Extension Service publication. Yes, there are recommendations for control.