Pine: Dwarf mistletoe

categories: Conifers Ornamentals Pine Pine Diseases

revision date: 2023-02-07 12:00

Dwarf mistletoe in conifer.
Dwarf mistletoe in conifer
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Dwarf mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on the branches of a host tree. It is yellow-green, olive-green, or somewhat orange in color and grows in clusters to about four inches high. The tree’s branches may be swollen and spindle-shaped at the infection site (some pines show little or no swelling), and develop into witches’ brooms. Severe infestations can greatly reduce growth of the host tree, sometimes causing dieback or death. Dwarf mistletoe spreads by seeds.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Remove mistletoe from host tree by pruning out witches’ brooms or hand-picking the parasite.
  • Remove heavily infested trees and replace with non-host trees (broad-leaved trees, some conifers).

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended