OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Beyond the Kiss, Mistletoe Helps Feed Forests, Study Suggests

David Shaw, a College of Forestry professor, pointed to the van-sized “witches’ brooms” formations in old-growth Douglas fir trees in the northwest United States produced by dwarf mistletoe parasites. At onetime, foresters would have pruned those away. Today, they are trying to protect the brooms because they are important nesting sites for the endangered northern spotted owl.