Mistletoe In Trees & Growing Squash Over The Winter

Question:

When my backyard shade trees lose their leaves, I’ve noticed green patches on the branches near the top. I’ve been told that it’s Mistletoe, and it is harmful. How do I go about getting rid of it?

Answer:

  • Yes, Mistletoe is harmful to trees; however, the decline occurs slowly.
  • Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that lives off other plants or host to survive. For many years, Mistletoe was limited to the foothills around the Central Valley, but today it is commonly found throughout the Bay Area growing in the canopies of mature, shade trees.
    • Birds are the primary means of spreading Mistletoe as they feed on the clusters. The white Mistletoe berries contain many sticky seeds. The birds carry the seeds from tree to tree on their feet, beaks, and in their droppings, as the seeds aren’t digestible. It’s found growing high in the tree where the birds nest or perched. 
  •  There are two methods of controlling this problem. They’re both a bit problematical because Mistletoe is hard to get to because they’re so high off the ground.
  • The obvious solution is to prune it out. You’ll need to remove a portion of the branch where it’s growing; otherwise, it grows back from the roots that are still attached. You’ll need a long ladder.
    • Also, Mistletoe may reestablish itself depending on the bird activity, so you’ll have to repeat the process.
  •  The second method is to spray the clusters with Florel Fruit Eliminator. Florel is the only product registered for controlling Mistletoe. Florel is a plant growth regulator, so it has no insecticidal, fungicidal, or herbicidal properties. It’s best applied in November or February through April when the temperatures are above sixty degrees.
    • The entire tree doesn’t need to be sprayed, just saturate the Mistletoe clusters. In five to seven days, the Mistletoe should begin to shed its leaves and branches. A second application is only necessary if Mistletoe is still present after three weeks.
    • After spraying the tree,  hose off any of the spray residue on the plants that are under the trees. You’ll need a sprayer that will reach the growth.
    • The Mistletoe will grow back, so repeat applications are recommended every three to four years. 

Question:

Im curious to know how I could keep my Zucchini plants growing all winter long. I could bring them indoors, but that presents a problem as I have cats that like to eat the leaves. Is it safe to leave them on a balcony?

Answer:

  • Although it is possible to grow squash through the winter, it is not very practical.
  • Squash are an annual, warm-season vegetable. They like warm days around eighty degrees with night temperatures above fifty-five degrees. It is nearly impossible to duplicate these conditions on your balcony without some heated structure. Besides, it may be cost prohibited to heat this structure during the winter. Therefore, I would enjoy the peppers while they last and plant new one's next year