Arizona seems to 7 varieties of it , A few native birds have a high dependance on it . From what I am reading , is that if controlled by cutting back some of its growth . It will not necessarily kill a host tree .
Any have comments or expierience working with mistletoe ? Some of the above links gave suggestions as to how to possibly start it . Anybody done it ?
I believe that mistletoe rarely kills its host tree. To do so would be to kill the mistletoe itself. Here in Australia some mistletoes grow in such profusion on a tree as to out compete the original tree foliage and this may sometimes lead to the death of a tree.
I did try to cultivate mistletoe once when I found seed already germinated while still on the mistletoe plant. I placed them on suitable branches in a local park, but none of them developed.
I wanted the mistletoe in my garden, but after a few years it arrived (probably helped by our local Mistletoe Bird) and we now have several plants of Drooping Mistletoe on various Acacia trees in the garden.
I was wishing I still had it because of the Great Purple Hairstreak, that uses it as a host plant! I remember it being on my property in the early years after we moved here. Now I can't find it. Where are the birds when you need them to spread something, anyway? Maybe I can do it myself!
Are you guys out of your minds?!!!! I've been trying to get rid of this parasite that has infected some of the very tall oak trees in my yard. I see a couple of very dead trees that had a lot of mistletoe, but whether that is what killed them I don't know. I have been told that if the tree is heavily infested that it will die. Anyway, I have been cutting out what I could reach from the ground, and the back of my pick-up, with a long pole saw. Around here I believe it is the Phainopepla that eats and spreads the seed. If I could keep it under control I wouldn't mind it so much. Of course, I've only been here at my 'new' place since August so the battle has just begun... I don't bounce quite so high anymore so I am a bit leary of climbing up in the trees to cut out the mistletoe... Lonediver, the kind you want is probably not the same as what is here. I am assuming you want it for food for your critters, the birds you are trying to attract? I can't imagine any other reason a person in their right mind would want to grow it... (Just kidding) (sort of)
I have some growing on some sugarberry trees if you want it. It doesn't seem to be killing the trees, only a couple of small patches here and there. but I wouldn't have a clue as to how/when/what to harvest.
The "roots" actually grow down in the tree limb, so cutting the plant part of the mistletoe won't really get rid of it, although of course it will slow it down. To get rid of it, you have to cut the limb, below where the mistletoe is. (12 inches, I think, is the standard recommendation.)
aardvark7, it will have berries, probably ripe pretty soon where you are (if it doesn't already).
What the birdies do is eat the berries, then go perch on another tree and poop out the seeds. So, supposedly what you do is sorta mash the berries onto a healthy tree limb, or even better, into a grafting cut. The seed germinates, and sinks its little tendrils into the limb. (I haven't actually done it, but that's what they say...)
As a kid I "planted" it in trees on our new place by stabbing the branch and lifting up the bark and shoving the seed in. Worked real well, tho' Dad wasn't too happy about it. It was my cash crop for Christmas presents after the first year, just as I had planned. I got a 90% growth rate from my seeds. It did not grow in any of the lower branches.
Heard on a gardening show recently that you should harvest the berries, place them where you want them to grow (they recommended the crook where two branches meet, to keep it in place), cover with wet sphangum or spanish moss, and wait. I assume you must keep the moss damp. That's the only way--the stems will not root or thrive once removed from the tree.
Though I understand others' concern that you actually want to START mistletoe, as opposed to STOPPING it, I have to agree that I love it, and have never found it to really harm the tree, though if there where huge amounts on a prized tree, I would get it out just in case...