deadwood mistletoe


Dormant hero!!
Dec 6, 2005
So. Oregon
heres some pics from today. you can see our mistletoe problem, there are trees much worse than these but most of these are salvageable. nothing exciting but its our bread and butter here


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Looking good, Willie. And it's always refreshing when some condescending punk happens by and criticizes you for cutting out all the green parts and leaving the 'dead'.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
haha brian, havent had that happen yet!
there is a little climbing but mostly from the bucket. id normally help but i dont want to take away hours from the guys this time of year, besides its boring:D
A lotta variables are involved with that, but if you cut it out good enough it rarely comes back. The problem is a lotta the time the point af attachment, the gall, isn't cut out properly and it can regrow from that. Sometimes people just knock the clusters off, and that ain't cool.

Another factor is how bad it was infected in the first place.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
for sure, some times in a year its got volleyball size clumps and other times in 5 years its softball size. still other times the tree can fight it off in young wood
Are the trees out there stressed? You guys seem to get a good amount of rainfall.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
they get stressed in the summer, we can go from may to october with no significant rain, thats when the mistletoe does its worst to the trees. we had a nice summer, at least one heavy rain a month, it was perfect, shortest fire season in a long time
A lotta variables are involved with that, but if you cut it out good enough it rarely comes back. The problem is a lotta the time the point af attachment, the gall, isn't cut out properly and it can regrow from that. Sometimes people just knock the clusters off, and that ain't cool.

Another factor is how bad it was infected in the first place.

What about ball moss - same thing?
Ball moss is a totally different thing. Ball moss is not a parasite and doesn't put any roots into the tree itself. Instead it just uses the tree for support. Take it all out and it will come back again just as quickly (or slowly) as it got there in the first place, from wind dispersed seeds. Although, I suppose once you've had a big ball moss population there are probably a lot more seeds around.
Usually it's nothing to worry about, unless it's absolutely smothering the tree. Removing ball moss is mostly done for aesthetics.
Yeah lookin real good. You don't spray with pruning paint to suppress regrowth?

It works.

But maybe that's not a good thing!
Book says that the mosses are not parasytic; espceially ball moss can be seen growing on electric wires, fences etc. They are true epiphytes/air plants. But Spanish Moss can smother light out and/or break branches off from weight, especially wet. It also gives more wind sail forces. Ball moss is actually closer to pineapple family / bromelaids. Heavy infestations of it aren't good. In fact; i don't think a branch does well if the Ball Moss walks a tight collar around said branch.

Mistletoe is a parasite and a very tough competitor. The Black paint works by smothering the plant from light for some years to kill it i believe, so must be put on relatively thickly. Mistletoe form hysteria/roots that run under the bark towards the tree roots. So, shaving it off or amputating right at the site makes it a possibility that the devil will grow back. The mistletoe feeds on the nutrients and water coming up to the branch; so heavily it will starve the branch and deform the wood hideously that it occupies. Another trick of mistletoe; is that when the rest of the tree is closing off stoma to conserve water in drought; the mistletoe's stomato are wide open; pulling as much water and nutrients to itself only. This can be very devastating to the host plant; even if it used to be fairly drought resistant. Being evergreen, this is a good time of year to see the mistletoe that is always there year round; and also catch it before it spreads through squirrels and birds in the spring. The berries can be toxic to small animals, babies and old people; but on the flipside can also trigger an immune response that is hoped to beat cancer. Some of the banned poisons used to take advantage of the open stomata effect in drought to poison mistletoe.

MTL Mistletoe Page
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
the roots are actually called haustoria. around here the berries have fallen already so the spread has typically occured already here. it also photosynthisizes so does make some of its own food. not trying to be snooty just a few things that stood out to me:)
Florel is a product which is labeled for eradication but I dont like using such products.
Like Willie said, haustoria is the structure of the misteltoe which grows within the tree. This structure can extend a great distance. Up to and maybe even more than 6 feet.
It is recommended to prune below the actual site of the misteltoe but this often results in destroying the canopy of the tree so is not practical. Painting the 'stump' where you cut off the plant often is not an option especially if you have ten gazillion points to paint.

We simply cut the stuff out.

Misteltoe spreads from wind throw, bird droppings, etc. You often see a clump growing from a pile of bird poop on a branch.

Luther Burbank introduced the variety we have in our area called Dwarf Misteltoe.
A real pest.
Florel is more of a control than eradication i thought; never heared of it for eradication? It causes the berries to abort; to limit it spreading. This (and shaving) can be done every other year; as it takes that long to get mature/ fruit bearing plants. It can kinda mess with the plant, but isn't really designed to kill the clump it is sprayed on. So it sets back the plant and keeps it from spreading; like scraping. But; unlike scraping, must be done at a certain time of year, or the money/effort resources are wasted i believe.

i've had some luck with not shaving and spraying with roundup in areas where you don't want to amputate. It seems that if you don't get it on the tree leaves; it only effects the mistletoe. Being a foliar or open cut absorption chemical; getting it on some of the bark while spraying the mistletoe wouldn't hurt the host tree. i wouldn't get it on any fresh tree wounds though. i haven't scientifically tested this or anything; i have seen it written (after we tried it as last resort); so make no promises. It seems to me; that you would run the risk of the mistletoe and tree systems being conjoined; and the roundup getting into the tree like that...

If shaving; where we don't want to amputate; we have good luck painting. There was a method quoted many times of wrapping mistletoe in plastic to starve it from light. Problem was it took 3 years; and you weren't supposed to let a wet spot form. i submit that the painting after shaving works on the light starvation theory. Light and host is about all that is necessary; so short of removing the tree; we remove the other necessity(?).

It does spread from birds, skwerls and wind, but also gravity. birds and tree rats are very efficient seeders; in that they eat so sloppily; the spread stuff while eating and after. The goop in the berries is one of the most Natural sticky substances known.

Sorry about the play on wierds; hysteria is one of the things leaves are sold for in some health food stores.

Know snootiness taken nor extended bro's. This devil is an enemy of our friends the trees, so is our common enemy as well. Putt as much info and corrections out thar as possible. Like most other tree issues; folks need to know!!