Mistletoe is strongly associated with Christmas, but did you know Mistletoe grows in Rushcliffe?
Last year Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) carried out a Mistletoe survey, which was very successful and generated over 25 records, 14 of which were from locations in West Bridgford.
We now know that Mistletoe grows in Aslockton, Cropwell Bishop, Edwalton, Gamston, Keyworth, Lady Bay, Radcliffe on Trent, Ruddington Tollerton and West Bridgford. RNCSIG wants to find out how common it is in those areas and if it grows elsewhere in Rushcliffe.
We are interested in mistletoe because it supports a wide range of wildlife, some of which can be rare and adds value to the biodiversity of an area. Winter is a particularly good time to spot it in the trees and it has a characteristic appearance, as illustrated by the photo of Mistletoe in a West Bridgford tree.
If you are new to the survey and suspect that Mistletoe is growing in a local tree, please let RNCSIG know by completing the online record at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/R_mistletoe. Also, if you participated last year and spotted some new locations we’d also be very pleased to hear from you.
Some mistletoe facts:
Most of the seasonal mistletoe harvest comes from traditional apple orchards – apple being mistletoe’s favourite host tree.
Mistletoe’s other primary habitat is in gardens where it is usually planted on fruit, particularly apple trees. It also grows on many other trees including pear, lime and silver-birch.
There is some evidence that they are species specialist and so their seeds germinate more readily on the species that the parent plant is growing on.
It is a parasitic plant and is known as a hemiparasite as it still uses photosynthesis to create energy.
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