Heavy mistletoe infestations in eucalypt trees are causing concern to local landcare members in the Hughes Creek catchment . Although mistletoe is a very important resource for many animals , large numbers of this parasitic plant can kill the host tree. Many mature narrow leaf peppermints and red stringybarks have been effected by an over burden of mistletoe since the stress of recent droughts reduced their vigour.
One way to improve the health of a heavily infested tree is to remove some (but not all ) of the mistletoe by employing an aborist to cut them out. Ruffy landholders who are keen to save these magnificent forest trees have employed an experienced arborist from Strath Creek to tip the balance in favour of the host . Contact Gary Hendy 57 989507 or 0400 694062 ( Can you spot him climbing the tree in the photograph?)
More than 20 species of native mistletoe occur in eastern Australia. Although they are parasites they are habitat for many animals in rural landscapes . The dense foliage of mistletoe provides good nesting sites for many birds such as noisy friarbirds and leaden flycatchers. Mistletoe produces abundant nectar, fruit and seeds that are eaten by many species of birds and animals including the mistletoe bird . The leaves of mistletoes are food for mammals such as common ringtail possums.