It’s Not Your Christmas Mistletoe

With cooler weather around the corner (we hope), viagra usa ed leaves in the trees will be thinning and you’ll be able to see the branches in your trees better.  One thing to keep an eye out for is mistletoe in your trees.

Mistletoe is a parasite that needs a host plant to survive.  Trees are perfect places for them to grow and thrive.  But, generic viagra just how does mistletoe get in your tree and what does it do to it?  Mistletoe gets a red juicy berry that birds just love to eat.  Birds will eat the mistletoe berries and get the juice and seeds on their feet, beak and chest.  They go from tree to tree eating the mistletoe berries and wiping their beak and feet on the next tree spreading the mistletoe seeds.

There are different thoughts about mistletoe and whether it should be removed from trees.  Mistletoe generally does not damage healthy trees.  Like healthy people, strong trees can withstand any destruction by mistletoe.  But if you have an already stressed or sick tree and mistletoe attacks it, it will damage it and possible kill it.

Since it provides food for birds and only damages already weakened trees, some arborists think it is best to just leave the mistletoe on a tree and let it run its course because the tree will die anyway.  Other arborists think that you can extend the life of the tree if you remove the mistletoe.  There is no one agreed upon answer.

To remove the mistletoe, prune off the branch down to the next largest branch.  You should disinfect your pruning saw with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water between pruning cuts and after pruning a mistletoe infected tree.  This helps keep the mistletoe from spreading.

Ideally, keep your trees healthy and you won’t have a problem with mistletoe.  Older trees are more susceptible to mistletoe damage because as trees age they are less able to ward off a mistletoe attack.  Call us at (520) 370-5697 if we can answer any questions you have about mistletoe or help you with your tree needs.


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1 Comment

  1. What an interesting article! I had no idea that mistletoe was spread by the juice on birds’ beaks and feet. I actually think it looks ugly, so we make a point to prune the mistletoe on our property.


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