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How to Harvest

We recommend that the best way to harvest mistletoe is to use a telescopic tree pruner.

Do not climb trees unless you are competent and have necessary safety equipment!

Look to cut the mistletoe where it joins the branch. If the the branch appears dead after where the mistletoe is attached then you can cut the branch off just before the mistletoe attachment.

Make sure when you cut you, any one else or any animal is not standing in the path of the mistletoe as it falls.

After collection insure that all debris collected and safely disposed of. Do not leave sprigs of mistletoe lying around where the berries or leave can be ingested by people, children or other animals.

Storing Harvested Mistletoe

Harvested mistletoe is best kept in damp cool conditions. Make sure it is stored away from pets, farm animals and children as ingestion of the leaves of berries is not recommended.

Good places to store your harvested mistletoe waiting for you decoration for the festive season or other traditions use is to sting it up in a tree in the garden, there is will be kept cool and damp by the natural climate at that time of year.

If you chose to store it inside a garage or garden shed, it will stay cool. To keep it damp give it a daily misting with with water from a spry bottle. It should remain in prime condition for at least two weeks.  

If you have your own mistletoe her are some tips on how to harvest it and keep your trees health!

Why Harvest?

Mistletoe if left to its own devices will eventually take over a tree and kill it off. The plant is semi-parasitic and it survives but putting a tap root into the main sap stem of the branch it is attached to and drawing the sap out of the tree and using it for its own use. This deprives the rest of the branch of the sap and hence it eventually dies.  

The slide show of photographs opposite illustrates this point.

What to Harvest

Mistletoe is appears as both a male plant and female plant. The difference is that the female plant is the one that has the berries, and hence the one used for decoration and keeping the traditions alive. As you would expect both plants are required in the spring to produce the next seasons crop of berried mistletoe.

When harvesting mistletoe there is no value in the male plant, but if all is removed from a tree then there will be no fertilization of the female plant to produce the following years crop of berried mistletoe.

When harvesting the berried mistletoe look for the larger bunches to cut from the tree, leave the smaller young growing sprigs as these will develop in to larger bunches over the next years. It takes about 3 years before a plant will show its sex by producing berries, after this is will roughly double in size every year.