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Pest Information

Juniper Mistletoe

Juniper Mistletoe

  • Latin Name: Phoradendron Juniperinum
  • Common Name: Juniper Mistletoe
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Juniper Mistletoe
Juniper Mistletoe
Juniper Mistletoe

Origin:

Native to western North America, and found from Mexico into Texas, and across the southwest states to Oregon along the Pacific Coast.

Biology:

A perennial parasitic plant that grows on various conifers, particularly junipers in natural forested areas. Serious damage is done to infested trees and shrubs, including stunted growth, stem deformities, and possibly death of the host tree. Infested trees may respond with growth of profuse, dense masses of needles, called “witches’ broom”, at the outer ends of the branch. All parts of the mistletoe are poisonous to mammals, but many birds and mammals do feed on the berries and other plant parts.

Identification:

This mistletoe is one of several species of “dwarf” mistletoes, all of which are parasites on conifers. It grows from the stems of the host plant, feeding itself with nutrients stolen from that host. Plants are yellow-green with profuse branching to form large clumps. Leaves are tiny and scale-like and well spaced along the stems. Flowering and fruiting occurs from April to December, with large clusters of small berries produced.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Physical removal of the mistletoe plant may not be effective and may stimulate the parasite to expand its root system, but pruning infested branches of the host tree back to the trunk can eliminate that plant and its roots. Treatment of the mistletoe with a directed application of the growth regulator Florel can kill the parasite, with multiple treatments likely needed.

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