December 12, 2017
This is Jason Lamb with your Gardening Minute.
So you found some real mistletoe for the holidays. Did you know that true mistletoe is poisonous and is a parasite? Mistletoe is easy to see this time of year because it is the only thing green on deciduous trees. Its berries are poisonous and should not be eaten.
Several types of mistletoe are found here in New Mexico with the most common one being leafy mistletoe. Mistletoe sinks its roots called haustria, under the bark of the tree and is impossible to get rid of. It is able to photosynthesize to make its own food, but it depends on the host tree for water and nutrients.
You can pick mistletoe off the tree to reduce the infestation by reducing the seed source which will prevent the spread of mistletoe. However the roots will remain active and produce more mistletoe next year.
Pruning the mistletoe out of the tree is the only real cure. To prune the mistletoe, cut at least one foot below the mistletoe or where the bark swells. The branch will need to be disposed of properly. If the mistletoe grows from the trunk of the tree, the whole tree may need to be removed.If you would like more information about mistletoe please contact the Extension office at 461-0562. This has been your Gardening Minute with Jason Lamb your Quay County Ag. Extension Agent. Where our programs are open to everyone and Happy holidays from all of us at the Quay County Extension office.