Mistletoe killing an apple tree?

Dear All, I have a sick apple tree which is *covered* in mistletoe. The variety is Howgate Wonder. It is about 30 years old and it had more mistletoe than apple leaves and stems and the apple leaves are scruffy and yellowed. The really strange thing is mistletoe shoots are emerging all over its branches. As I understood it, mistletoe propagation requires seeds to be inserted into the bark (eg. by birds) -- I'm sure this cannot be the case here. It is as though the mistletoe has 'invaded' the apple tree's tissues and taken over. Does this make an botanical sense and has anyone seen anything like this before?
A few months ago I cut off most of the mistletoe but the tree still looks pretty sick. Is there any hope for it?
Thanks Tom
--
Tom Crane, Dept. Physics, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Hill,
Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, England.
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On Mon, 9 Jul 2007 21:32:09 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@alpha1.rhbnc.ac.uk wrote:

We have some mistletoe growing in a pin oak and another growing in a hickory tree. Both are ball-shaped and about 1 yard across, too far up to remove easily. Someone said you can shoot it out with a 22-rifle, or possibly with a powerful pellet gun. Our trees appear to be healthy, but in your case I'd remove the parasite.
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On Jul 9, 2:32 pm, snipped-for-privacy@alpha1.rhbnc.ac.uk wrote:

What i know of Misstletoe is the seeds germinate and the plant grows into the vascular tissue of the tree, which cuts off food and water supply. I think if it's not too severe you could probably prune out the branch with the parasite. I've heard in severe cases, it can kill a tree.
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Please explain what you mean when you say food?
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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Sorry. I meant carbohydrates which are manufactured during the photosynthesis process and any nutrients taken up through the root system. I don't claim to be an expert. Only stating what i've learned (or remembered)through Hort. classes and working in the nursery industry. But i always keep my ears open to new information.! Perhaps John, you could add some information about parasitic plants and their effect on fruit and ornamental trees. Regards, Bob.
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snipped-for-privacy@alpha1.rhbnc.ac.uk writes: |> Dear All, |> I have a sick apple tree which is *covered* in mistletoe. The |> variety is Howgate Wonder. It is about 30 years old and it had more |> mistletoe than apple leaves and stems and the apple leaves are scruffy and |> yellowed. The really strange thing is mistletoe shoots are emerging all |> over its branches. As I understood it, mistletoe propagation requires |> seeds to be inserted into the bark (eg. by birds) -- I'm sure this cannot |> be the case here. It is as though the mistletoe has 'invaded' the apple |> tree's tissues and taken over. Does this make an botanical sense and has |> anyone seen anything like this before? No, and no, but it sounds very odd.
|> A few months ago I cut off most of the mistletoe but the tree still looks |> pretty sick. Is there any hope for it? Unlikely. And the cause won't have been the mistletoe. 30 years is about the life of many apple trees.
Regards, Nick Maclaren.
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On Jul 10, 10:18 am, snipped-for-privacy@cus.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) wrote:

I think it can throw out new shoots from the internal parasitic structures - particularly if you crop off the existing exterior growth. In the UK mistletoe has never been aggressive enough to see off a tree - although on the continent either a more aggressive form or the warmer summers seem to make it more of a problem. I suspect global warming may tip things over the edge for some of the weaker UK trees with a large parasitic load.
The other possibility is that the bark on old branches is full of cracks and there really are that huge number of mistletoe seedlings growing on the tree. Worth looking to see that there isn't some other sap sucking parasite like woolly aphid making matters worse for the tree. Most trees I have seen in the UK co-exist happily with their mistletoe.

Could be old age, but I'd look for some other cause first. And maybe try an anti-fungal spray too.
Regards, Martin Brown
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|> |> > |> A few months ago I cut off most of the mistletoe but the tree still looks |> > |> pretty sick. Is there any hope for it? |> > |> > Unlikely. And the cause won't have been the mistletoe. 30 years is |> > about the life of many apple trees. |> |> Could be old age, but I'd look for some other cause first. And maybe |> try an anti-fungal spray too. Yes - but, once a tree has got to that state, is it likely to be salvageable? A 30 year old apple is not a young tree.
Regards, Nick Maclaren.
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: On Jul 10, 10:18 am, snipped-for-privacy@cus.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) wrote:
writes: : > : > |> Dear All, : > |> I have a sick apple tree which is *covered* in mistletoe. The : > |> variety is Howgate Wonder. It is about 30 years old and it had more : > |> mistletoe than apple leaves and stems and the apple leaves are scruffy and : > |> yellowed. The really strange thing is mistletoe shoots are emerging all : > |> over its branches. As I understood it, mistletoe propagation requires : > |> seeds to be inserted into the bark (eg. by birds) -- I'm sure this cannot : > |> be the case here. It is as though the mistletoe has 'invaded' the apple : > |> tree's tissues and taken over. Does this make an botanical sense and has : > |> anyone seen anything like this before? : > : > No, and no, but it sounds very odd.
: I think it can throw out new shoots from the internal parasitic : structures - particularly if you crop off the existing exterior
Interesting. How would one determine if the mistletoe had made these 'internal parasitic structures' ?
: growth. In the UK mistletoe has never been aggressive enough to see : off a tree - although on the continent either a more aggressive form : or the warmer summers seem to make it more of a problem. I suspect : global warming may tip things over the edge for some of the weaker UK : trees with a large parasitic load.
: The other possibility is that the bark on old branches is full of : cracks and there really are that huge number of mistletoe seedlings
That is the odd thing -- the branches have smooth clean bark -- no canker etc. The mistletoe erupts from these. Also I should have mentioned that early this year I fed the tree with N+P+K as directed by a decent fruit tree book -- to no avail. All of this tree's contemporaries (different varieties, all cookers) have small amounts of mistletoe on them but no sign of sickness.
: growing on the tree. Worth looking to see that there isn't some other : sap sucking parasite like woolly aphid making matters worse for the : tree. Most trees I have seen in the UK co-exist happily with their : mistletoe.
I'm pretty sure there is no serious woolly aphid infestation. Ornamentals seem to be plagued by them this year, but I digress...
: > : > |> A few months ago I cut off most of the mistletoe but the tree still looks : > |> pretty sick. Is there any hope for it? : > : > Unlikely. And the cause won't have been the mistletoe. 30 years is : > about the life of many apple trees.
: Could be old age, but I'd look for some other cause first. And maybe : try an anti-fungal spray too.
Sure.
: Regards, : Martin Brown
Thanks to all who followed up.
--
Tom Crane, Dept. Physics, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Hill,
Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, England.
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|> |> That is the odd thing -- the branches have smooth clean bark -- no |> canker etc. The mistletoe erupts from these. Also I should have |> mentioned that early this year I fed the tree with N+P+K as directed |> by a decent fruit tree book -- to no avail. All of this tree's |> contemporaries (different varieties, all cookers) have small amounts |> of mistletoe on them but no sign of sickness. Assuming that there is some evidence left, I suggest that you contact someone in your Botany department - they may be interested.
Regards, Nick Maclaren.
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On Mon, 9 Jul 2007 21:32:09 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@alpha1.rhbnc.ac.uk wrote:

Your tree was most likely compromised to begin with. Then the parasite seed was pooped out of a bird on the tree, the mistletoe put its main root into the tree and it is now overtaking it. Your tree is dying. Don't waste time. Just cut it down and plant some other type of tree there. Do not plant another apple there. You can plant another apple on some other area of your property.
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