Should You Remove Mistletoe From Trees


With the holidays quickly approaching, mistletoe may seem like a festive way to celebrate. However, when it’s alive and on your trees, it turns into a problem. The scientific name of mistletoe translates into the “thief of tree”, so as you can imagine, mistletoe is actually a parasite. Learn more about mistletoe and our processes for removing it below!

What is Mistletoe?

Mistletoe is a tree parasite, thriving off of the nutrients and moisture that is meant for the tree limb. Mistletoe can be found on a wide range of trees, but it’s most commonly found on pecan, hickory, oak, and red maple. Mistletoe takes root within tree branches, but because it produces its own chlorophyll to make its own food, a single plant doesn’t completely deplete a tree. 

Mistletoe becomes an issue for a single tree when there is a moderate or heavy infestation, however, as we will explain below, it spreads with ease, so it’s best to remove any mistletoe as soon as you notice it. As the mistletoe grows, the tree’s growth may be stunted and if there are additional stressors, the tree will die. Because trees lose their leaves in the fall and winter, this time of year is really the easiest time to spot any mistletoe; if you’re noticing any signs of mistletoe on your trees, it’s time to call in the experts. 

How to Remove Mistletoe From Trees?

Brents Tree Service has years of experience in removing mistletoe. Because mistletoe grows on originally healthy tree branches, there are two approaches our experts will take in its removal. The first is to remove the mistletoe by hand and check if there is any visual damage to the infected tree limbs. If the tree still looks healthy, that’s it! Keep in mind that you cannot just cut the mistletoe growth; this will not kill it. 

The second approach is one we take if the tree’s health has started to decline because of the mistletoe. In these situations, we would recommend tree trimming, or in extreme cases, tree removal

Removing Mistletoe Early

While leaving mistletoe to thrive on your trees will certainly compromise the tree it’s on, what most homeowners don’t realize is the ease with which mistletoe spreads. Mistletoe spreads by seeds that are contained within their white berries. These berries are extremely attractive to birds and insects, so once present, the mistletoe will spread quickly from tree to tree within your yard. 

Save yourself time and money and address mistletoe early! For homeowners in the Austin area, select Brents Tree Service to take care of any mistletoe infestations in your yard. Contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you!