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Ripe acorns gathered off the trees or germinating acorns which had dropped off (only where no interference from neighbouring oaks existed) were collected in France and sown in our nursery. After c. 4 years, mistletoe seed was sown for at least 4 years on all oak seedlings, always in April, and observed for at least another 4 years. Mistletoe receptivity was considered established if one or more mistletoe plants had reached the first foliage leaf stage that follows the primary leaves.

Ripe acorns gathered off the trees or germinating acorns which had dropped off (only where no interference from neighbouring oaks existed) were collected in France and sown in our nursery. After c. 4 years, mistletoe seed was sown for at least 4 years on all oak seedlings, always in April, and observed for at least another 4 years. Mistletoe receptivity was considered established if one or more mistletoe plants had reached the first foliage leaf stage that follows the primary leaves.

seedlings can be tested for mistletoe receptivity after three to five years and then transferred to final growing sites. The young trees are lined out two or three times during the five to seven years of early growth and adequately protected against damage from wild animals. Sowing acorns directly in their definitive growth site, with mistletoe-receptive specimens selected afterwards, has the advantage of avoiding loss of oak-specific root potential, with the tap root being able to penetrate deep soil layers without impairment due to lining out. Connection with ground water is ensured, mineral resources in deep soil layers are made available, and conditions created for sustainable mistletoe production. To avoid damage from wild animals it will, however, be necessary to expend more on root and trunk protection.

Practical experience has also been gained in cultivating V. album on elms. The natural occurrence of mistletoe-bearing elms is limited, and pathogens are a major threat to the host. Ulmus campestris receptive to V. album was propagated by isolating root suckers. Young plants were dug up in winter when the trees were leafless and cool temperatures reduced the risk of infection. It was possible to obtain up to 100% of mistletoe-receptive progeny by this vegetative method. The figure for mistletoe-bearing Ulmus glabra grown from seed was between 20 and 40%.

With other pharmaceutically relevant mistletoe hosts, long-term practical experience yields estimated figures of 40-50% receptive trees for seedlings of fir (Abies alba) and pine (Pinus silvestris), and 90-100% for grafted apple trees (Malus domestica) and cuttings of poplar (Populus trichocarpa) (Grazi and Scheibler, unpublished results).

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