About Mistletoe Surveys

Welcome. This is a website about mistletoe surveys and data collection in the British Isles, where European Mistletoe, Viscum album, has a distinct population centre in the SW Midlands. It also occurs in scattered colonies across much of England and the Welsh borders but is almost completely absent from Scotland, Ireland and the rest of Wales. 

Background: Surveys in the 1990s (for details click here) confirmed mistletoe's distribution centre in the south-west midlands of England and provided valuable data on habitats and host tree species and habitats. 

Those 1990s studies centred on a possible threat to mistletoe - the ongoing loss of traditional apple orchards, one of its main habitats. This is still of concern, though it only really affects mistletoe quantity and harvest (not distribution), and is only an issue in mistletoe's stronghold areas in the SW Midlands. In other habitats mistletoe is not at risk, and in areas outside the SW Midlands orchards were probably never a main habitat - most mistletoe in those areas is in parkland and gardens. 

But there is still a lot that is unknown about mistletoe in the UK, particularly the detail of its relationship with fruit trees in general and orchards in particular. Plus there is some intriguing evidence that its distribution could be changing, possibly due to climate change.

This website gives information on some current initiatives to find out more. Most include new public participation surveys on specific issues - and most are long-term projects that will take some years to gather enough data.

Scroll down to see links to some current projects, and to find links to more websites about mistletoe.

Mistletoe Surveys - ongoing and completed

Orchard Trees with Mistletoe

A survey about mistletoe management in orchards. One of the Mistletoe League projects from Mistletoe Matters.

For orchard owners/managers with mistletoe. Find out more about the survey by clicking below:

Mistletoe on Garden Trees

A survey seeking information on how mistletoe is managed in gardens . This is a Mistletoe League project from Mistletoe Matters.

For gardeners with mistletoe on fruit trees. Find out more about the survey by clicking below:

Fruit Varieties Surveys

Looking into which fruit tree varieties mistletoe prefers. Another of the Mistletoe League projects from Mistletoe Matters.

Which varieties does mistletoe grow well/least well on? Find out more about the survey by clicking below:

Spotted some mistletoe?

There is no national recording project at present, but sightings are always useful to add to the national picture. And have you spotted any of mistletoe's specialist insects?

For information and to record sightings click below:

2010 survey on sources

Over the winter of 2010/11 Mistletoe Matters ran a survey collecting information on where people get their Christmas mistletoe, and how they use it.

Click below for a summary of the results.

1990s national survey

Much of what we know about mistletoe distribution in the UK comes from survey work by the Botanical Society of the British & Ireland (BSBI) and Plantlife in the 1990s.

Click below for results from that major project

More about mistletoe...

Welcome. This is a website about mistletoe surveys and data collection in the British Isles, where European Mistletoe, Viscum album, has a distinct population centre in the SW Midlands. It also occurs in scattered colonies across much of England and the Welsh borders but is almost completely absent from Scotland, Ireland and the rest of Wales. For background information try the information sheets on this link, or visit the links below.