- Author: Elaine Lander
Mistletoe is a familiar sight of the season, often found wrapped in ribbon and hung for certain festivities this time of year. But did you know it is actually a parasitic plant that grows on a number of landscape trees in California?
There are two types of mistletoe in California. Broadleaf mistletoes attack certain broadleaf trees and some conifers while dwarf mistletoes attacks only conifers. Broadleaf mistletoes have green stems with thick, oval leaves. Dwarf mistletoes are smaller, with short stems and yellow scaly leaves.
Both types of mistletoe grow through tree bark and into the tree's tissue, living off the host tree. Healthy trees can typically tolerate a few mistletoe infections although individual branches may...
Mistletoe hung in doorways is a traditional holiday decoration, but when it's growing on trees in the landscape, this parasitic plant may not seem quite as charming.
There are two types of mistletoe: broadleaf and dwarf. Broadleaf mistletoe is evergreen and can be found growing on common trees such as flowering pear, ash, and birch, while dwarf mistletoe attacks firs, pines, and other conifers.
Mistletoe robs trees of both water and nutrients. If you see small amounts of mistletoe growing on healthy trees in your landscape, it's probably not a cause for concern. However, if a tree is heavily infested, individual branches may be weakened or killed, and trees affected by drought or disease may be stunted or even...