Symptoms and damage
after all the leaves have dropped in the fall, your trees still have clumps of
green in the top, your trees are parasitized by mistletoe (Phoradendron species),
a parasitic plant. Although mistletoe does obtain water and minerals from the
tree, it does not depend totally on the tree for food. The green leaves of this
plant contain chlorophyll and are capable of making their own food.
COMMENTS on disease
Mistletoe produces small white berries, which
are extremely toxic to humans. The stems and leaves are also toxic and are
reported to cause skin irritation on contact in some people.
can be controlled by cutting out infected limbs 1 to 2 feet below the point of
attachment. In a few instances, breaking out the tops of the mistletoe has
proven an effective means of control. Ethephon (Florel Brand Fruit Eliminator)
is labeled for mistletoe control. Large infestations may be difficult to
control with a single spray application, and retreatment may be required. Make
applications after fall leaf drop through mid-winter.