berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistle Thrush , MistleGO , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science , social history , surveying mistletoe

MistleGO! A new mistletoe survey launched!

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A brand new mistletoe survey has just been launched by the Tree Council and Oxford University, as an app-based citizen science project to assess the state of mistletoe in Britain. Not just where is it, but what quantities exist. This is new, and exciting, as it will help determine what is happening with mistletoe here -it seems to be spreading more and faster, but we need a new study to assess this, and to create […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , Orchard

Return to Pentwyn, to see mistletoe plantings

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A visit to the small orchard at Gwent Wildlife Trust’s  Pentwyn Farm Nature Reserve, in Gwent, almost but not quite in the Wye valley (and not to be confused with Radnorshire Wildlife Trust’s Pentwyn Farm Nature Reserve in Radnorshire). Way back in February 2011 I led a mistletoe workshop here, during which we planted mistletoe seeds, from ripe berries, on some of the trees – that’s nearly 13 years ago now, so I wanted to […]

auctions , berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Mistletoe Day , Science , social history , Tenbury Wells

Mistletoe time, again – news and updates for 2023/24

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A slightly late start to the blog this year – but announcing all the usual stuff; the berries are looking good, whitening up already, mistletoe events are being organised, mistletoe studies are being planned and mistletoe commerce is underway. In events news there are the usual mistletoe auctions at Tenbury Wells – this year on Tuesday 21st and Tuesday  28th November. Details for buyers and sellers are at https://nickchampion.co.uk/auctions/holly-and-mistletoe/ or, if you just want to watch, […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Science

Mistletoe germination

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End of March – the end of the mistletoe season for us, but the middle of the germination season for mistletoe seeds. Why the end for us? Well we spend much of February and March each year working with mistletoe, especially in neglected sites, and supplying mistletoe seeds and advice to those who want them.  The arrival of April is often a welcome break as mistletoe has dominated our lives since October! But for mistletoe […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science

Mistletoe seed and seedling monitoring

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A morning of mistletoe seed and seedling spotting around our garden – which already has (not surprisingly) multiple mistletoe plants, established over the last 20+ years.  There’s a mixture now of deliberate (man-made) and natural (bird-sown) plantings.  Many many more of the latter than you would normally expect as this garden has, when we used to trade mistletoe, been the storage space for much mistletoe cut from elsewhere, so has spawned many more new plants […]

auctions , berries , Biodiversity , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science , social history , Tenbury Wells

The ‘return’ of the kissing tradition (says the BBC)

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A fairly thorough mistletoe feature on prime time TV this week – 4 minutes of it on The One Show on BBC One on 8th December.  Richie Anderson, the voice of travel news on BBC R2, but more notorious this year as a flamboyant Strictly Come Dancing contestant, spent a day in north Worcestershire visiting the mistletoe-laden apple orchards at Commonwood Farm and the wholesale mistletoe auctions in Tenbury Wells.  The final edit must have […]

auctions , berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , social history , Tenbury Wells

Masses of mistletoe at the first auction of 2022

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At Tenbury Wells yesterday, for the first of the two mistletoe auctions this year. Masses of mistletoe there, though less holly than usual. I was also left with the impression there were fewer buyers and sellers than normal, but that’s difficult to really judge. Most of the mistletoe was looking very fine, lots of berries and not much with yellowy leaves.  But there were several lots, more than usual, with under-ripe berries – i.e. not […]

berries , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science , social history

Wintertime is show time for mistletoe 

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Mid November: Mistletoe berries are whitening up nicely now – and with every host tree’s leaves now nearly all fallen any mistletoe is becoming very obvious , if you’re lucky enough* to have some! This late autumn phenomenon, of mistletoe suddenly ‘appearing’ within the host (even though it’s been there all year long, obscured by host leaves) is a key part of the magic of mistletoe. It is indeed a very wintery plant, only conspicuous […]