Mistletoe. A good idea?

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Jocko, Jan 3, 2022.

  1. Jocko

    Jocko Guided by my better half.

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    My wife would like to introduce Mistletoe into our garden and I am not so sure. I know it is a parasite, living off the host tree, and I am a bit concerned as to what it will do to the host.
    Late last summer we planted a Tibetan Cherry and a Prunus x blireana. She thought of using them as hosts but I read an article today that said the host should be a mature tree.
    We have an old apple tree on one corner of my garden which seemingly has been there for years and as Mistletoe prefers apple I thought that would make a good host.
    The tree is old but it delivers copious amounts of fruit. Is Mistletoe advisable and if so is my choice of host the best approach?
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Not grown it myself but I have tried.
    As I understand it, because it contains chlorophyll it is not a total parasite.

    I'd go for putting it on the mature tree rather than the smaller ones.
     
  3. Tomcat

    Tomcat Gardener

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    Apple trees are very suitable as hosts for mistletoe , trees need to be mature - over 15 years old - and the crop of apples each year will be less as the mistletoe take goodness from the tree.
     
  4. flounder

    flounder Gardener

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    It sounds like your missus is trying to get you to do some canoodling in the garden Jocko:whistle:
    Remember, mistletoe is for life, not just Christmas:)
     
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    • CarolineL

      CarolineL Total Gardener

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      Hi @Jocko I had a few smallish apple trees in my previous garden and managed to establish mistletoe on a number of them. I still got more apples than I could handle - I did not notice any reduction. Worth remembering that it takes a lot of berries to get them to take, and that you need enough plants as they are either male or female - the first few I got were, sod's law, male!
       
    • Sirius

      Sirius Total Gardener

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      Sounds like an interesting project.

      Where does one get Mistletoe berries from ?
       
    • Tomcat

      Tomcat Gardener

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      Harvest berries around Easter time , best taken from the same type of tree that you want to establish them on , if you can .
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        Could be why I've failed.
        Always tried the berries taken from around Christmas time.
         
      • Jocko

        Jocko Guided by my better half.

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        My wife just ordered berries on Amazon but they are not dispatched until March.
         
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        • Sirius

          Sirius Total Gardener

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          Had a quick look
          They all seem to be artificial :scratch:
           
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          • Jocko

            Jocko Guided by my better half.

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            She looked up Mistletoe seeds, but I checked today and the seller looks dodgy.
             
          • Tomcat

            Tomcat Gardener

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            Have a look at Kissmemistletoe.co.U.K. , l haven’t used them my self but know peeps who have - all good reports.
             
          • NigelJ

            NigelJ Total Gardener

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            There was an article on Mistletoe in Decembers RHS magazine "The Garden".
            February March is said to be the best time to sow and the suggested way is to smear the berry along the branch so the seeds get pushed into the surface of the bark. It did say that it could be three to four years before much growth was seen, even though the seed can germinate quite quickly.
             
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            • Jocko

              Jocko Guided by my better half.

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              I ordered more berries from the English Mistletoe Shop.
              My wife gets the RHS magazine so I will dig that article out.
               
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              • Jocko

                Jocko Guided by my better half.

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                Managed to get the first lot, from Amazon, cancelled.l
                 
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