Mistletoe

chrisbotero

Sapling
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I acquired a couple of pretty decent lodgepole pine yamadori over the weekend and noticed one of them has a decent bit of mistletoe. Its not overwhelming the tree at this point but it is in several different brances. Ive done some research and everything I have read says to cut off the infected brances at least 12" below the site.

My questions are:

1. Is there any other method of eliminating mistletoe other than removing the branchs?
2. How far below the "sprouts" should I cut?
3. If I strip off the bark (basically creating jin) will that also stop the mistletoe?

I just hate to start hacking off branches before I've had a chance to style or at least plan a styling for the tree.

I will post pictures tomorrow so you can see the extent.

Thanks for any help!
 

bisjoe

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I haven't seen much of that in the NW, but had experience with it in CA when we lived there. It's actually parasitic, and sends roots into the bark to rob the tree of the nutrients and moisture, eventually can kill it. Simply cutting it off may not do much, so I'd definitely remove the bark or the whole branch below the mistletoe. Throw the mistletoe away so it can't grow somewhere else. Chemical treatment will kill the tree, since the mistletoe roots are in contact with the flow of nutrients in it. One folk method that has worked for people is covering the mistletoe with black plastic to cut off the light. This will not hurt the tree since bark needs no light. Unfortunately it may take two years.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Mount the tree over the threshold to your house, and tell your wife every time you walk in she has to kiss you.

That mistletoe will be gone within the week :)

(I have nothing constructive to add to this discussion :) )
 

Smoke

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Mount the tree over the threshold to your house, and tell your wife every time you walk in she has to kiss you.

That mistletoe will be gone within the week :)

(I have nothing constructive to add to this discussion :) )

Constructive..I say yes. Anything having to do with bonsai that yields me a kiss is constructive.

Usually I get the finger.
 

davetree

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I thought that you are not supposed to collect/transport trees with mistletoe, they should be destroyed. Is this true ?
 

rockm

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The answer is kind of complicated if you do some searches on Mistletoe control...

Apparently, you're dealing with a dwarf mistletoe species that lives on western conifers and not the "true" species that infests broadleafed trees.

This is significant, as controlling the species that lives on deciduous broadleafed species can (and has ) been effectively treated with root regulating hormones applied during the tree's dormant period. I recall an article in a long ago edition of ABS journal where Roundup weed killer was diluted and applied directly to the mistletoe on a collected cedar elm. The treatment was done in wintertime, when the tree was not actively growing. This prevented the tree from absorbing the weed killer. I also think the author also went in and grubbed out the roots a branch at a time, leaving some damage, but saving the branches.

I don't think the Roundup solution would work with an evergreen. However, application of some kind of barrier on the Mistletoe leaves might slow it down or weaken it. I'd think a painting of black tree wound sealer on the leaves and visible parts of the mistletoe would kill it off
 

chrisbotero

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Here are some pictures of what Im talking about. I believe it is a dwarf mistletoe. This was collected in southern oregon about 2 years ago.

The first picture is the worst spot. There are a few other brances that have small amounts on them. The trunk has about a 4-5" diameter and some great movement. It's a mess above that (or should I say there are abundant possibilities above that) but with some planning Im sure I can find a nice tree inside. I really dont want to remove any branches until I get a chance to plan the styling.

My plan is this; Ive read that dwarf mistletoe spreads when the seeds pop and shoot "invaders"to neighboring trees. This happens when the mistletoe is 2-3 years old. Im going to mark each branch that has it, remove whats there to keep from spreading and wait until later to decide if the branch can be removed. If it's a significant branch, Im thinking I could wrap the whole thing in electrical tape for a year or two and that should kill off the mistletoe. The heavily infested branch (pic #1) will likely be cut back and stripped right away.

I do like the idea of putting the tree on the roof! I might try that with a branch and see if I get the finger!
 

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Klytus

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I find it disturbing,if you want Parasitic invasion of your Bonsai then Australia has some spectacularly choice Mistletoe's.
 

greerhw

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A bit of history, not really worth knowing, unless you're a romantic. Mistletoe is Oklahoma's state flower, that's right I wouldn't lie to you. One winter many, many years ago a man's wife died out here on the prairie, having no flowers to put on her grave, all he could find was Mistletoe, so when we became a state, we adopted Mistletoe as our state flower out of respect for him and his wife, need a tissue ?

keep it green,
Harry
 
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