It’s Time to Kiss Mistletoe Goodbye



As the holiday decorations come down for another year of storage, everyone’s lives start to get back into a normal routine. One of the decorations seen so often during the holiday season is mistletoe. While the green leaves and red berries look great as festive decorations, they should be removed from the tree in your yard as soon as possible.

Mistletoe seeds are moved by bird from tree to tree and from neighborhood to neighborhood. Once the seeds find a home in your trees, they sprout and their persistent roots bury into the wood of your trees. Once there, the mistletoe begins to drain your tree of much-needed nutrients and moisture. This parasitic relationship has no value to the tree and will sap the health and vigor of the tree. Mistletoe will eventually lead to misshapen limbs and poor structure.

Many times, when the mistletoe parasite is left unchecked in valuable landscape trees, tree removal becomes a necessity. Here in North Texas, mistletoe can clearly be seen in Cedar Elm and Hackberry trees during the winter months when foliage is gone. New infestations can spread rapidly after mistletoe matures a few years and begins to produce berries.

All is not lost though! Mistletoe can be controlled. Smaller limbs that are infected can be removed during normal pruning, sometimes with little negative effect on your tree’s appearance. Larger limbs and trunks that have been infected will need the bark scraped to remove as much mistletoe as possible. While the parasite will live on and eventually return to these larger limbs if not removed, regular pruning and mistletoe removal by trained arborists will protect your tree’s health, beauty, and value.

Winter pruning is the absolute best time for mistletoe removal, while the leaves and berries are most visible. Call now to schedule a consultation with our Certified Arborists to discuss Mistletoe removal and winter pruning of your trees!