The Q&A Archives: Mistletoe in Trees

Question: I know mistletoe is a parasite, but where does it come from? Can I just prune it away, or will it kill my tree anyway?

Answer: Mistletoe is a parasitic plant and heavily infested trees are weakened, often slow growing and usually more attractive to insect and disease problems. Since mistletoe weighs branches down, affected branches often break off in storms or high winds. Prune affected branches out of the trees, making sure to get all of the pesky plant's parts growing within the limb. Mistletoe is an evergreen plant with small, greenish flowers and white berries. Birds carry seeds from the berries, depositing them at random. Sometimes the seeds, with a healthy dose of fertilizer, plop onto a branch and begin to grow.

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