- Author: Belinda J. Messenger-Sikes
All mistletoes infest and grow as parasites on trees and large shrubs. In some cases, the host plant can be severely damaged. But recent studies have shown that broadleaf mistletoes can shelter and feed wildlife, including birds and small mammals. So, mistletoes are both parasitic plants and bird food!
Because mistletoes can damage trees, you may decide to do something about mistletoes infesting your trees. The first step is to find out whether you're dealing with broadleaf or dwarf mistletoe. Mistletoes differ in their life cycles, the damage they cause and management methods. UC Cooperative Extension Advisors Igor Lacan (San Mateo and San Francisco Counties), Steven Swain (Marin County) and Ed Perry (Stanislaus County,...
- Author: Elaine Lander
If you're planning to get a holiday tree for your home, you may find unexpected guests have already made their home in your evergreen selection. Common holiday trees such as firs, pines, and spruces can host pests such as aphids, scales, mites, bark beetles, or even praying mantis egg cases. These pests may be present regardless of whether you select your tree from a local tree lot or go to cut your holiday tree at a nearby tree farm or forest. But...
Anthracnose is a group of fungal diseases that infect many trees and shrubs, causing dark lesions on leaves and cankers on twigs and stems. In some areas of California, vegetables and turfgrass can also be infected with anthracnose.
Symptoms of anthracnose vary by plant host and weather conditions. High humidity and dense canopies can exacerbate this common disease. Management relies on planting resistant cultivars of landscape plants along with careful maintenance of susceptible cultivars, such as pruning and removal of fallen leaves and twigs.
Authors Jim Downer (UCCE Ventura County), Steven Swain (UCCE Marin County), and Amanda Crump (UC Davis Plant Sciences) recently revised
- 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...