Seed Swaps

Planted the Mistletoe

25 Feb 2012
Cloudy 12°C / 54°F

If you can ‘plant it’. I sort of stuck it to the branch!




Wow … I’ve never heard of nor seen anyone do that before! I’ll enjoy watching the progress.

Posted on 25 Feb 12 (over 4 years ago)

Will it hurt the tree? Or maybe that’s just an old myth?

Posted on 25 Feb 12 (over 4 years ago)

I hope it won’t hurt the tree. Mistletoe is only a hemiparasite, as it can photosynthesise but it does take moisture via its ‘root’. I think one or two growing would be ok but I agree too many and I think it would stress the tree especially as it is quite old.

Posted on 25 Feb 12 (over 4 years ago)

Here they only grow in oak and mesquite trees. I don’t know if that means they are host-specific. Should be an interesting experiment.

Posted on 26 Feb 12 (over 4 years ago)

That is interesting… I had to google mesquite tree….but although we have plenty of oaks I have not yet seen mistletoe in them. I’m sure you are right, the mistletoe must be different. In England it is traditionally found in apple orchards but I have spent the whole winter trying to spy a plant that is in easy reach so I could borrow a few seeds. Dispite the number of orchards in Kent I have only found it high up in lime trees (Tilia ), so I had to buy this seed. The instructions say it will grow on apple, lime, poplar, false accacia, hawthorn and Rosaceae shrubs but I have put it all in the apple tree as that is all I have. It says it is also very slow to get going… so this may be a long term project!

Posted on 26 Feb 12 (over 4 years ago)

A botanist once told me you can plant a mistletoe seed by kind of wrapping it in scraped together birdpoo.
Next you either find a little protected nook in the tree, like where two branches split and put it there. Or you can try to lift a little bark with a knife and put the seed/poo package underneath.
The poo seems to be necessary to make the seed germinate.

The rain will wash it off if you just smear it on. Good luck with this!

Posted on 28 Feb 12 (about 4 years ago)

I had not heard that before! Now, bird poo, in the form of chicken poo, is not something I am short of!!! I shall see what I can do! I hope the wild birds have not eaten the seeds already!

Posted on 28 Feb 12 (about 4 years ago)

If you run out of seeds for mistletoe let me know. That is something I have plenty of. My cherry trees have very healthy mistletoe plants on them. I thought that mistletoe will eventually kill the branches of a tree. It is definitely a parasitic plant. However, it is also a source of food for some animals.

Posted on 18 Mar 12 (about 4 years ago)

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