Dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum) is a small, leafless parasitic plant that thrives by stealing water and nutrients from a tree host. It is deadly to native trees like the jack pine.
Jack pines make up more than 350,000 acres of Minnesota’s forests today. Many land managers hope to plant more in the future because they can withstand drought and changing climate.
Fortunately, dwarf mistletoe is in Manitoba but has not yet reached Minnesota. Developing early detection and eradication plans is key to protecting the state’s pine forests.