Mistletoe is Bad for Trees!
Many homeowners are not aware of the scourge of Mistletoe - that it is a parasite
capable of killing a mature tree in about five years.
Mistletoe is most apparent when the trees have shed their natural leaves.
The green leafy clusters that remain are Mistletoe which can double in size and
number each year, and, being a parasite, drain the tree of its life-supporting nutrients
until both tree and Mistletoe are dead.
The parasite is spread by the birds that feed on the white, sticky berries produced
between October and December. The berries stick to the birds' beaks which
they rub off on the tree bark, starting a new cluster. The birds also pass
the seeds in their droppings, thus infecting whole neighborhoods from just one tree.
There is no really effective spray yet available to eradicate Mistletoe.
The only treatment is removal of the infected limb 12-18 inches back toward the
trunk of the tree from the point of Mistletoe attachment, as the parasite sends
out hair-like roots under the bark. Even after pruning, the tree should be
checked for at least two (2) years as the tiniest manifestations are not always
visible at first pruning.
Homeowners should be aware that the problem will not solve itself and it costs
much more to remove a dead tree than to threat Mistletoe early.
Don't let this happen to your trees!