Ask the Experts

Mistletoe Management and Removal

The mistletoe might be a romantic sight during the holidays, but did you know that it can harm or even kill your tree? If you notice the telltale signs of a mistletoe infestation in your tree (hint: large, green globes), then it’s time to schedule a free arborist consultation to discuss mistletoe removal or treatment.

Mistletoes are parasitic plants that steal water, carbohydrates, and nutrients from the host tree, impacting its health. The mistletoe loves to draw nutrients from soft-barked trees like Maples, Hackberries, and Elms. Generally, the advent of mistletoe is a symptom of poor health in the tree, as it is unable to fight off the infestation. While mistletoe doesn’t immediately harm the tree to an alarming extent, it depletes essential resources and causes the tree to decline more rapidly.

Mistletoe blooms in early spring, ripening into sticky berries during the colder months of the year – typically in November and December. Some of these plants rely on birds to carry their berries, some species just let the wind blow its berries to nearby trees. The berry sticks on the host tree’s branches and taps into the tree’s veins through its roots. Left alone, it can stunt a tree’s growth, kill its branches, or even the tree itself.

Once you spot a mistletoe infestation, it’s crucial for you to contact your Dallas landscaping experts. The plant grows rapidly and spreads extensively, normally extending its roots deep into the tree trunk.

Mistletoe Management

Use the services of a certified arborist to prune out the infected areas of the tree. The tree professional would know the best way to do this while preventing further damage, especially if the mistletoe is already established in the tree. Any “tree guy” can simply cut the mistletoe off the host; however, the mistletoe is likely to regrow unless done properly. Effective mistletoe management only happens when the entire mistletoe – both inside and outside – is taken out and the wound is dressed to heal, preventing future growth.

Mistletoe Removal

Removing mistletoe with chemicals should only be done by a tree professional, and only when the situation calls for it. This process must be done before the host tree has leafed out. Ideally, mistletoe removal should be completed before the host tree has leafed out at an ambient temperature of around 65 °F

Older and unhealthy trees with heavy infestations require removal. At best, a serious infestation may require many years to overcome, and this might prove costly for the owner if not addressed early.

Contact your Dallas landscaping experts as soon as you spot a mistletoe infestation. The sooner you manage the mistletoe, the better your chances are of ensuring the host tree’s health. 

Schedule Your Fee Mistletoe Consultation with a Certified Arborist

Our team of over a dozen certified arborists is here to evaluate the health of your tree at no cost to you. Simply schedule a free consultation to get the process started.