Will mistletoe kill my water oak tree?
Mistletoe (Phoradendron serotinum) is a photosynthetic, seed-bearing, parasitic plant that actually produces rooting structures into the limbs of the host tree to obtain water and nutrients. There is a growth regulator that will provide short-term relief from infestation, but it requires professional application with power spray equipment. Pruning the branch that the mistletoe is attached to will reduce infestation but, again, provides limited relief. Pruning just the mistletoe will not kill the plant, and regrowth will occur. Birds spread the seed and, as long they visit the tree, you'll always have the chance of having mistletoe return. Mistletoe seldom bothers a healthy, well-watered tree. In times of drought, branch dieback can result outward from the point of mistletoe attachment on smaller branches.