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Time to eliminate mistletoe

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Posted: Monday, January 7, 2008 10:00 pm

Now that the trees have shed their natural leaves, it must be time for my 5th annual mistletoe letter.

The subject is the same but with a different focus; those dark green clumps in the bare trees are not part of "going green" to save our environment. Rather, they are the same deadly parasite, as always, contributing to the destruction Lodi's healthy tree environment.

Lodi is facing the loss of over 700 trees from mistletoe spread by the birds who love its sticky berries. The birds rub the berries from their beaks onto the bark of the trees or pass the viable seeds. Either way, one infected tree soon condemns a neighborhood.

Cutting out the mistletoe is the most effective solution so far, but trees should be rechecked each year for small infestations missed on first cutting. Since hair-like roots run along under the bark, it does little good to cut away the mistletoe at the point of attachment. If possible, the tree limb should be cut 18 inches from the point of attachment back toward the tree trunk.

If neighbors would like to tackle this problem together, call TREE LODI at 334-6668 for more information.

Joyce Harmon

Tree Lodi

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