Mistletoe – In Cotoneaster
Q: In my backyard, I was picking up branches, including some pieces of mistletoe under a large oak tree. When I attempted to pick a sprig out of the nearby cotoneaster, I discovered to my surprise that the mistletoe was growing there, attached to the underside of a branch.
A: Your observation is correct, mistletoe is an equal opportunity parasite. Though I see it mostly on oak trees, it can infest many other woody plants.
The seed is very sticky and birds deposit them on branches. When it germinates, the parasite invades the bark and begins feeding on a plant’s sap.
It’s hard to control on tall trees but you have an advantage with your shrub. Prune it out and dispose of it.