Forests, Lands, and NR Operations

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Dwarf Mistletoe Management in British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): David Rusch, Harry Kope, Michael Murray, Jewel Yurkewich, and Stefan Zeglen
Source: Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Subject: Dwarf Mistletoe, Arceuthobium, Forest Disease, Forest Health, Management, British Columbia, climate change, fire
Series: Land Management Handbook
Other details: Published 2019


Dwarf mistletoes are parasitic seed plants that require living hosts to survive. They are a natural and important part of many forest ecosystems. From a timber management perspective, dwarf mistletoes can increase tree mortality and reduce tree growth and wood quality. Forest practices play an important role in determining the extent of these negative effects in managed stands. Removal of susceptible host trees through harvesting and eradication of susceptible natural regeneration is the best way to reduce future losses from dwarf mistletoes. Partial harvesting should be avoided in areas with high levels of dwarf mistletoe. However, where partial harvesting is required to meet other resource management objectives, specific measures to reduce future effects from dwarf mistletoes can still be implemented. Possible effects of climate change on dwarf mistletoe are also discussed in this report.


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Updated November 18, 2019