How to Remove Mistletoe from Trees(2023 Expert Tips)

Last Modified

May 24, 2023 by Hirah Ehsan

Removing Mistletoe from trees can be a tricky task. Not only is it an unwelcome visitor, but removing it can be dangerous if not done correctly. This article provides some helpful tips on safely and effectively removing Mistletoe from your trees.

As an arborist, I will explain the different methods one can use and provide helpful advice for tackling this issue. So if you are looking for a way to remove Mistletoe from your trees, read on!

Identifying Mistletoe

Identifying Mistletoe can be tricky, as it can grow on various trees. Its small, triangular-shaped leaves and white berries make it easily recognizable among other tree growth. It attaches itself to the branches of trees with its wiry roots, which feed off the nutrients and moisture from the host tree.

Mistletoe is usually found in clusters, so if you spot one cluster, there are likely more nearby. Look for the telltale shape of its leaves and bright white berries to distinguish it from other plants.

According to research, Mistletoe can cause damage to trees in different ways. Its roots sap water and nutrients from the host tree, causing weakened branches or even death in extreme cases.

In addition, dense foliage blocks light from reaching the tree’s foliage below, preventing photosynthesis and further weakening the host tree’s health. Removing Mistletoe is essential for protecting the health of trees; however, it should be done carefully to avoid further damage to the tree.

Pruning Techniques

Pruning mistletoe from trees is a challenging task, but it is necessary to keep them healthy. To begin the process, look for any discolored or deformed leaves on the tree branches, as this indicates mistletoe growth. For larger infestations, use long-handled pruners to cut off the visible stems of the Mistletoe.

Make sure to get rid of all stems and leaves to ensure all parts of the plant have been removed. For smaller areas, you can use tweezers or thin pruning shears to remove smaller clusters of Mistletoe.

The study has suggested that, After removing the Mistletoe from the tree, dispose of it properly so that it cannot re-establish itself elsewhere. Monitor the area regularly and take

action if new growth appears. Regular pruning can help your trees stay healthy and beautiful throughout their life cycles.

Chemical Treatments

Pruning techniques effectively and efficiently remove Mistletoe from trees, but sometimes more intensive methods must be used. Chemical treatments are one such method that may be necessary to eradicate the parasitic plant.

The most common chemical treatment for removing Mistletoe is a foliar spray containing glyphosate or triclopyr.

These herbicides can be applied directly to the leaves of the Mistletoe, which will then absorb the chemical and spread it throughout the plant, eventually killing it.

The study has shown that the herbicide should be applied when there is no chance of rain for at least 12 hours afterward, as rain will wash away the chemicals before they can take effect.

It is important to note that these chemicals can also damage other plants in the area, so care must be taken when using them. Moreover, chemical treatments are considered a last resort and should not be used if pruning techniques can achieve a satisfactory result.

Some chemicals which is best to remove mistletoe

When applied to mistletoe, glyphosate is absorbed into the plant and eventually kills it.
TriclopyrAnother effective chemical for removing mistletoe from trees is triclopyr. This herbicide selectively targets broadleaf plants like mistletoe without harming grasses or conifers nearby.

Prevention Strategies

Preventing mistletoe infestation is crucial to limiting its potential damage and spread. It requires careful evaluation of trees, particularly those growing in areas with high levels of mistletoe infection.

The study has suggested that one way to prevent the spread of Mistletoe is by pruning off infected branches as soon as possible.

This will help reduce the number of viable seeds available for dispersal and prevent new infections from developing. Additionally, applying herbicides onto affected branches is another way to control the growth and spread of Mistletoe. However, it should be done cautiously not

to harm other plants or animals in the area. Taking preventive measures and regularly monitoring trees for signs of infection can help keep our forests healthy and safe from this parasitic plant.

Professional Assistance

Preventing Mistletoe from infiltrating trees is often the most effective method of removal. Taking steps to ensure trees are healthy and have a robust immune system can help keep them from Mistletoe.

Pruning surrounding branches, removing dead wood, and fertilizing the soil can all help improve tree health and reduce the likelihood of infestation.

If preventive measures are insufficient, professional assistance may be necessary to remove Mistletoe from trees. Professionals may utilize chemical treatments or manual removal to rid a tree of this invasive species.

Chemical treatments should only be administered by trained professionals and tailored to the specific type of tree in question.

Manual removal may involve pruning off affected areas or using a specialized tool to cut out sections of the host plant. In either case, it is essential not to damage the host tree during treatment or removal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Remove Mistletoe From A Tree?

Removing Mistletoe from a tree typically takes about an hour, although it can take longer, depending on the size and type of tree. It is essential to use the right tools and techniques when removing Mistletoe from a tree to ensure no damage to the tree itself.

What Are The Signs Of A Tree Being Infected With Mistletoe?

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that can cause significant damage to trees if left untreated. Signs of infection include yellowing and stunted growth of the affected branches and white or yellowish clumps on the bark.

The Mistletoe attaches itself to the tree in the clumps, drawing nutrients from its host. If you notice these signs, it is essential to identify and treat the infestation quickly to prevent further damage.

Are There Any Natural Remedies For Removing Mistletoe From Trees?

Removing Mistletoe from trees can be a tricky process. Luckily, some natural remedies may help. One method is to prune the affected branches, removing as much of the Mistletoe as possible.

This should be done in late winter or early spring when the plant has less foliage and is

easier to access. Another option is to spray the leaves with water and dish soap, which can help weaken and kill the Mistletoe over time.

Is It Safe To Remove Mistletoe From A Tree Without Professional Help?

Removing Mistletoe from a tree without professional help can be a tricky endeavor, and it is essential to take certain precautions when doing so. Removing all the Mistletoe without damaging the tree can be challenging, so it is best to use pruning tools such as loppers or shears designed for this purpose.

Additionally, you should avoid using harsh chemicals that could cause harm to the tree or nearby plants. If done correctly, you can safely remove the Mistletoe from your tree without needing to call in an expert.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Not Removing Mistletoe From A Tree?

Not removing Mistletoe from a tree can be risky, as the plant can cause considerable damage to its host. Mistletoe is an evergreen parasite that draws nutrients and water from its host to survive.

If left unchecked, it can grow into large numbers and overwhelm the tree, causing branch dieback, bark splitting, and decreased photosynthesis. In addition, Mistletoe can cause stunted growth and reduce the tree’s overall health over time.


Removing Mistletoe from a tree can be challenging, but addressing the issue as quickly as possible is essential. It is important to be aware of the signs of a tree being infected with Mistletoe and to consider natural remedies before attempting to remove it without professional help.

If Mistletoe is left untreated, it can spread quickly and cause damage to the overall health of the tree. Removing Mistletoe from your trees can help ensure they remain healthy and strong for years.

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