Natural Occurrence Of Mistletoebearing Oaks

The pioneers of oak mistletoe cultivation experienced difficulties in transferring Viscum album on indigenous oaks (Tubeuf, 1923; Bellmann, 1963; Grazi, 1987). Experimental sowing of mistletoe seed did not prove a promising method for the detection of mistletoe-receptive specimens of Quercus robur and Q. petraea, but the success rate considerably increased when use was made of mistletoe-bearing oaks and their progeny. French oaks naturally bearing V. album plants provide the basis for oak mistletoe cultivation today. The natural occurrence of mistletoe-bearing oaks will therefore be considered in more detail below.

Systematic searches in France allowed to identify more than 200 mistletoe-bearing indigenous oaks (Q. robur and Q. petraea). These were isolated individual specimens well removed one from the other. Mistletoe-bearing American oaks (Q. rubra, Q. palustris, Q. coccinea), on the other hand, which were also registered, were often found to grow in groups. They are distinctly more common (more than 450 mistletoe-bearing American oaks recorded) than mistletoe-bearing European oaks. The available data do not permit to calculate the percentage of mistletoe-bearing oaks among the total population. The low number of registered trees among the huge oak populations in the main areas where mistletoe is found does show, however, that indigenous oaks

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