Harvesting and Selling Mistletoe for Profit

Cold cash really does grow on trees when you are harvesting and selling mistletoe for profit. Includes how to harvest mistletoe, packaging and pricing.


| November/December 1985



096-056-01-50cent

Besides simply locating mistletoe, you'll need to consider its accessibility—the plant, you'll soon discover, has an annoying affinity for heights.


PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Cold cash really does grow on trees—but you have to be willing to go out on a limb for it by harvesting and selling mistletoe for profit. 

Last December, I earned $525 in just 12 days selling mistletoe here in Eugene, Oregon. And since this popular holiday symbol grows wild in many parts of the country and can usually be gathered for free, chances are you can do at least as well marketing mistletoe in your own community when you are harvesting and selling mistletoe for profit. Furthermore, now is the perfect time of year to lay the groundwork for your holiday business.

Of course, first you'll need to make sure there's enough mistletoe in your area. Drive around and look for the distinctive ball-like clusters of green or yellow-green foliage nestled among the bare branches of deciduous trees. Mistletoe (genus Phoradendron) is a semiparasite that prefers to freeload on oaks but also appears on such other hardwoods as sycamores, black gums, maples, walnuts, and elms. Botanists classify mistletoe as a semi-parasite because, although it thrusts its roots into the host tree for water, it manufactures and uses its own chlorophyll.

Besides simply locating mistletoe, you'll need to consider its accessibility-the plant, you'll soon discover, has an annoying affinity for heights. Although you may have the extraordinary luck to find it growing in easy-to-climb scrub oaks, the greater likelihood is that most clusters will be perched amidst the topmost branches of tall trees. So make a special note of any locations that offer particularly easy picking. And, of course, be sure to get permission to harvest any mistletoe that's on private property. (This is seldom a problem. In fact, because the parasite can, if present in large quantities, actually kill the tree it lives on, some landowners will pay to have the stuff removed!)

HARVESTING MISTLETOE

Now comes the hard work. Wear appropriate clothes and shoes for climbing trees, and bring along a few trash bags or card board boxes for collecting your bounty.

The traditional southern method for harvesting mistletoe is to blast it out of the tree with a shotgun. I don't recommend this approach; not only are shotgun shells expensive, but the shot itself can damage both the tree and the plant. Mistletoe is fragile, and you'll sell more if the boughs you gather are intact.

steve_46
12/3/2007 10:51:45 PM

Hi my name is Kyle and i am 10 years old. I am steve`s son. I was wondering where would you tell me to sell Mistle Toe and. Are there any better places to sell it and the reason that I am asking this is because I am trying to fundraise for one of my family members to go to Europe to learn a lot of other things and then teach it to my family members and friends, our first payment costed $1,000 dollars and we are already 3 months late and they said if we dont get the money in they are going to cancel his trip and he is really looking forward to going on this trip. The normal price is$ 6,500. Please help us out.






mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!

LEARN MORE