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Mistletoe, or viscum album, is a plant considered to be parasitic on many tree species.
In summary, what you need to know:
Last name : Viscum album
Family : Viscacea
Type : Parasitic plant
Foliage : Persistent
Flowering : March April
Clearly visible in the fall, it reveals a ball in the trees which have lost their leaves.
Mistletoe in the trees
The mistletoe is a rootless plant which lives in trees and which, over the years, takes on the appearance of a large ball.
A parasitic plant, mistletoe is found in many trees in our regions such ashawthorn, the black locust, the weeping willow, the Apple tree, the lime tree and especially the poplar.
It is found less frequently but sometimes on the pear tree, maple, hazel, the charm, the chestnut or the Cherry tree.
Note that the mistletoe is installed on different essences depending on the region.
Mistletoe: a nuisance for trees
Mistletoe is considered to be a harmful plant for trees, but the nuisance should be measured because it remains a formidable breeding ground for food for birds during winter.
In fact, the mistletoe draws its water and organic matter needs directly from the tree for he cannot obtain them by his roots.
The tree then has tendency to burn out faster and that is why it is sometimes recommended to get rid of mistletoe.
To avoid any propagation or weakening the best thing is to remove mistletoe from the tree As things progress.
Mistletoe branch tradition
He's from tradition of kissing under a branch of mistletoe to take advantage of a long and prosperous life around Christmas time and at midnight on New Year's Day. It was during this time that mistletoe was easiest to find and most abundant.
But it is among the Druids that mistletoe was considered very early on as a sacred plant. They used it for a long time to cure certain diseases, to bring fertility and protection against witchcraft.
Toxicity and danger of mistletoe for trees
Mistletoe is a poisonous plant that is absolutely forbidden to ingest, both its leaves and its white berries.
Ingestion of mistletoe can cause serious digestive and heart problems.
When handling mistletoe, use gloves to protect your hands.