Pruning dwarf mistletoe brooms reduces stress on Jeffrey pines, Cleveland National Forest, California.

Scharpf, R. F., Smith, R. S., and Vogler, D. R. 1987.

U.S.D.A., Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Station, Berkeley, CA 94701, and
Region Five, San Francisco, CA 94111.

Research Paper No. PSW-186. (1987)


Western dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium campylopodum) is a damaging parasite of Jeffrey pines (Pinus jeffreyi) in southern California. Infected branches that develop into brooms are believed to reduce tree vigor and increase mortality. Brooms were pruned from Jeffrey pines with varying levels of dwarf mistletoe infection and live crown. Many of the trees showed an increase in crown vigor when compared with unpruned trees after 5 years. Mortality was not reduced by pruning brooms, except during years of below-normal precipitation. Of the trees that died, most had little live crown, heavy dwarf mistletoe infection, and were attacked by root diseases or insects or both. Reducing the stress of dwarf mistletoe by broom pruning to no less than 30 percent live crown helps to prevent mortality due to root disease and insect attack during years of below-normal precipitation.

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