A parasitic plant of our trees with less ornamental power, mistletoe when it is present in abundance can be a danger to the health of the subject it colonizes, it will therefore have to be eliminated.
But What is the mistletoe?
Mistletoe, well known for decorating interiors at the end of the year with its round but nonetheless poisonous fruits of a beautiful immaculate white, is an epiphytic plant of the Loranthaceae family. It is native to the temperate forests of Europe where it grows directly on the branches of the trees it happily colonizes. In a few years, it takes on the appearance of a large ball that can measure up to 1 meter in diameter. Its lifespan is estimated at over 35 years.
Mistletoe has no root and is attached to the tree using a conical sucker system that sinks into the surface layer of the bark. At this stage, there is no danger for the tree, but as it grows, the new wood encompasses more deeply the sucker which then emits many ramifications all provided with a new sucker. The tree is then weakened especially if several mistletoe trees are present on it.
How to eradicate mistletoe?
It is easier to remove mistletoe when it is still young as it will cause less damage to the trees. The easiest way is to cut the tuft flush with pruning shears, billhooks or pruners depending on the size of the tuft.
Then, dig the bark to extract the sucker in its entirety. Be careful if you leave a piece, the plant may very well start again the following year, so it is very important to clean the site well in depth.
One method is then to burn the wound using a torch because it helps to leave the area healthy. The use of mastic is very controversial because although it is supposed to protect the wound from humidity and various diseases and parasites, it can sometimes have the opposite effect. If air bubbles form below the sealant, then the wound may become a refuge for pests and diseases. The already weakened tree would have difficulty recovering from it.