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In a rash moment I ordered a "grow your own mistletoe" kit and am gearing myself up to starting the berries off on a selection of trees around the garden. Has anyone else here tried this - any hints or experiences would be very welcome.
I've tried twice, various approaches, press them onto bark, make a slit and press in. Various species of tree.
On both the years I tried it was a very hot summer, I wonder if they'd have done better with more moisture
Alan Titchmarsh did it years ago with fresh mistletoe berries on Gardeners World. He made a little cut in the bark and pushed the berry in. A few took, can't remember, may have only been 2, but he did several.
Ah well, probably a long shot then. I just went out to position some seeds and got pelted by hailstones as a reward so beat a hasty retreat....
The instructions do say that in a dry spring the seeds should be sprayed with water occasionally but I don't think I'll be needing to do that at the moment!
I always thought Mistletoe was specific to just a few tree types.............Apple being one ?
Could be wrong tho....I've often wondered about it but have never tried it myself.
Spraying with water ? That should save you a chore then
According to the instructions, the top host is apple but there's a list of other potential hosts. I only have minarette apple trees so they wouldn't be suitable. I've put some seeds on a couple of hawthorns and plan to put some on a willow and an ash. I'm also hoping to put some on my false acacia, which is listed as a preferred host, but when I went out into the garden the branches that looked reachable when I first thought of this and looked at them through my window turn out to be much higher than they appeared and rather inaccessible. The only low branch is over the field next door where they keep horses so I don't think that would be a good plan as I believe mistletoe is poisonous to horses.
It's growing on poplars not far from here.
There's loads on trees along the M50, they might be on poplars as well, I haven't been along there lately, can't remember.
The kit I bought came with "freshly harvested berries" so hopefully they are ripe. Some of them are bigger and squishier than others though. Anyway, I'm full of optimism rather than expectation! I expect the birds will eat them all....
It will be good if the birds get involved, they eat the sticky stuff and wipe the seeds off on the tree, that's how they get spread.
They're more yellowish than white when they're ripe. They should be getting ripe by now
Actually it would be great if the birds could distribute them a bit for me as they can get a lot higher up than I can.
The downside to the up high for me was that having risked by neck putting the berries up there I wasn't risking it for watering
Hadn't thought of that. Perhaps I should get one of those water poles which is used for washing windows - if it is ever dry enough for watering to be necessary, of course.
The weather can change so suddenly can't it. One minute it's too wet like now and then it all stops, the March winds come and it's getting too dry for planting.
You need one of those long sprays the councils use for their hanging baskets
I put them on an old apple tree and on large rose, they’re doing okay, they take a few years to show much signs of grown. The thing about cutting the bark is supposed to be a bad idea. It isn’t the natural way for sure. If the bark is too think they won’t get a hold, but I’ve read they’ll germinate on a rusty nail, but obviously not grow. I tried them on Hawthorn the year before but got not a one germinate. The tree needs to be mature enough to cope with the mistletoe and the branch not so old the bark is too thick. Rosacae is supposed to be best, but it seems mistletoe can be quite variable in it’s liking for a host so it depends where the berries came from. I’m no expert, all second hand knowledge pretty much so far.
Very interesting. Its not something i have tried and would only do so if i could make a few bob out of it, down at the local market at christmas.
Is it not a parasitic plant? Does it affect the fruiting of fruit trees or does it just make them look funny? Apart from when it gives us all that christmassy feeling when it gives berries?
Well, I've put them all out now so will just hope for the best. I've put them on mature shrubs and trees and only a few berries on each so hopefully shouldn't have too much impact on the host. They're on hawthorn, willow, false acacia and a couple of trees in the copse at the bottom of our garden which, I must admit, I'm not certain what they are.
I didn't cut the bark but did choose fairly young branches with smoothish bark so hopefully some will take.
I am very impressed and hope you will tell us how you do. The results, should be written down ( every week() and just be recorded as i know, no one that is doing this ! Great stuff.
I do hope you have put this down on paper, or even a diary. All i can say is good luck and i look forward to your results, no matter how long they take!
Let us know please.