A Mistletoe Tree is made up of a host tree (mostly ornamental crab apples but other varieties are available) and the mistletoe plant.
Mistletoe (Viscum Album) is a hemi-parasitic plant which photosynthesises itself utilising the chlorophyll in its green leaves and stem, but also utilises water and nutrients from the tree that it attaches to.
I buy my host trees in usually as 1 year old whips, these are then grown on and seeded with fresh mistletoe seeds (usually 4-6 berries per tree) at the appropriate time.
The mistletoe seed will then germinate and start secreting enzymes that allow it to draw water and nutrients from the xylem of the host tree. This process can take a long time, usually around 1-2 years.
The successful seed then falls off, allowing the shoot that is attached to the host tree to grow, producing an initial pair of small leaves.
This will then continue to grow and will grow increasingly quickly with age, due to it being able to photosynthesise throughout the winter as well as the summer.
When ready, you should plant your tree (autumn is often best but not exclusive), digging a large enough hole and making sure the compost and root ball mix laterally with the soil.
Give the tree plenty of water to allow the roots to begin penetrating the soil throughout the first year of growth (do check in drier periods).
Let the tree grow, keeping an eye on the mistletoe leaves to ensure it has not been picked off by birds (unlikely but has happened) and is still growing. After 3-4 years, or when the mistletoe branches reach greater than 30cm, then the mistletoe should be pruned by removing some of the smaller forked branches. This will allow the tree to keep growing healthily and mean you can begin picking mistletoe after a relatively short period of time.
You can purchase a Mistletoe Tree, or a Growth Voucher, at any time during the year. I cannot guarantee specific times that trees will become ready, so whenever your assigned tree becomes ready I will contact you.
I sell trees only when they are ready, this means that I can see good visible growth on one or more germinated mistletoe shoots. This means that germination has been successful and your mistletoe will continue to grow unless damage occurs after sale (bird or transport damage).
If you have no other mistletoe in the area (most likely not) then you will need both male and female for continued cross-pollination. There are no tests for individual berries so I seed at least 4-6 usually onto each tree meaning there is a robust probability that one of each occurs.
No, the mistletoe will not kill the tree. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant and will keep feeding off the tree whether the tree suffers from disease or not. So please follow guidance on how to care for your Mistletoe Tree and if the tree is under a serious pressure of some kind consider pruning the mistletoe back.
By regular maintenance and pruning, the mistletoe can be kept under control. If it does get out of control remove all visible mistletoe and protect the open bark of the tree from other diseases and infections. By buying and planting a tree when the mistletoe is only 1 year old the tree will have 1 or 2 years to develop a root system and grow, allowing a sustainable level of mistletoe to be kept.
Collection (£0) = Come and collect your tree from Skreens Park Farm in Essex and visit the nursery at any time throughout the year.
Courier delivery to your door (£35) = I can arrange a courier, usually 24 or 48hr express delivery to your door anywhere in the UK. Trees are sent bare root and wrapped securely in bubble wrap and damp straw. Delivery ONLY between November and February depending on tree dormancy.
Personal Delivery (£10-35) = If I am travelling to the part of the country you live in then it may be possible to arrange for delivery by myself at a variable cost and depending on timing of travel, can be anytime throughout the year.
Yes, there are a number of toxins that should not be ingested directly from the plant despite mistletoe use in a number of alternative medicines. Please do not ingest, or allow children or pets to ingest, mistletoe berries or leaves.
I guarantee that the trees will be healthy and have actively growing mistletoe shoots on each tree at the point of sale (and point of delivery if delivered myself). I cannot be liable for any damage during transport by third parties and do not accept returns. Partial refunds are possible if evidence is provided.