Mistletoe Can Harm Your Tree

Mistletoe has a positive connection for romantics at this time of year, but did you know that mistletoe can harm your tree?  Well, I guess mistletoe can also cause some harm to people, too, if someone is jealous of the kissers under the mistletoe.  But in the Weatherford Democrat’s article, the focus is on the mistletoe that is outside the house, not the one that is hung in doorways during the holiday season.  Mistletoe can harm your tree, and some species can be harmful to people as well if ingested.   Here is how the article in the Weatherford Democrat describes the mistletoe.


Mistletoe can harm your tree.

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows in a wide range of host trees. It is spread by birds that rub the sticky berries off their beaks onto tree limbs or pass them through droppings. Seeds that are spread in February and March may stick long enough to sprout. The plant attaches to the tree by a root-like appendage that sinks into the limb seeking water and nutrients.

The mistletoe reminds me of a plant I had never heard of until I was told about it on a visit to Savannah, namely the Resurrection plant.  It also grows in the branches of trees.  I understand that it seems to come to life, resurrects, after a rain, when the plant in the branches of trees greens up.  Back to the mistletoe.  I learned from the article that there are several hundred species of mistletoe, and some of them are used medicinally and some of them are poisonous.  When it comes to possible damage to trees, here is some of what the article states.

Biologists and organic growers alike agree that a mild infestation will not harm an otherwise healthy tree; however, the growth of mistletoe over the years will weaken the branch and may cause it to break. In an unhealthy tree, mistletoe can reduce the growth rate and may eventually kill the tree.

So, be concerned about a large growth of mistletoe that you may find in a tree of yours, because mistletoe can harm your tree and even kill it.  Read the rest of this interesting article by clicking here or on the link below.  If you happen to find yourself under the mistletoe this holiday season, give some thought to how mistletoe can be harmful.  After you’ve thought about it, if the amount of mistletoe is only a sprig, it probably won’t hurt to do what most people do under the mistletoe.  At least it won’t harm your tree.


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