Methods to improve the recovery of reindeer lichen after soil disturbance or overgrazing are being sought for areas where reindeer are herded. The effects of four substrates – mineral soil, moss, twigs and pine bark – on the establishment of lichen fragments after total removal of the vegetation were thus studied in a middle-aged pine stand and a clear-cut, both located in a lichen-rich pine-heath. Cladina mitis fragments of two sizes were manually dispersed in 1 m2 quadrats and their movements from their respective dispersal points were registered after one year. The natural re-establishment of lichens in the quadrats was monitored over three years by using digital pictures. In the forest stand, no significant differences were detected in either the fragment movement or the lichen establishment between the different substrates, but the fragment size had positive effects on both parameters. In the clear-cut, the moss substrate was the most suitable not only for the artificially dispersed lichens to fasten to, but also for the natural settlement of lichens from the surrounding lichen mat. More lichen thalli fastened to the bark and twigs substrates than to the mineral soil, but the settlement of lichens from the surrounding was greater on bare mineral soil substrate. The results indicate that artificial dispersal of lichen thalli on an appropriate substrate could be a successful strategy for promoting lichen recovery.