Mistletoe ‘is often overlooked’

Gardeners who regularly keep their grass trim with lawn mowers could also be looking to other parts of their green space.

The Mistletoe League Project has launched the first survey intended to investigate the country's populations of Viscum Album – the plant's binomial name.

Drawing its growing habits under the spotlight, the research also aims to identify information regarding where it can be found, how healthy the national populations are and what varieties of apple tree they thrive more healthily on.

Mistletoe is known to grow on a wide variety of hosts, but apple trees are by far the most populous example of this trend.

It was noted this can particularly be the case in traditional orchards and the investigation could lead to a more sustainable cultivation of either plant.

"It can be quite obvious: you go into a traditional apple orchard with mistletoe and you can often see some apple trees are more affected than others," said project leader Jonathan Briggs.

A particular concern expressed by the expert was that some trees could become overloaded with mistletoe as a result of poor management.

Some people could choose to address this concern by investing in a set of tree pruners and MowDIRECT has a wide range of powered options that reduce the hard work associated with this task.

For instance, pole pruners have telescopic shafts that make it possible for the gardener to cut back any excess growth from a secure position on the ground.

"There's circumstantial evidence visible in gardens that mistletoe is often overlooked," commented Mr Briggs, adding: "It's grown as a curiosity and people don't make the link between mistletoe as a parasitic plant and the death of the tree."

Now could be the ideal time to address the health of any trees in a garden, as the Tree Council recently hosted the first National Tree Week in order to encourage plantation.

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