Mistletoe: Former Demonized Plant Turns Out to be a Great Helper

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by Earth's Internet, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Earth's Internet

    Earth's Internet Junior Member

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    I tried looking for a Mistletoe thread here, but could not find one. Especially since the Mistletoe News comes right out from Australia. Some of the justifications for logging and control burnings to rid infestations of Mistletoe are ridiculous. I was actually surprised Australia had Mistletoe. Guess I never gave it a thought before. Anyway, here is the post and my take and experience with it from So-Cal.

    Mistletoe: Former Demonized Plant Turns Out to be a Great Helper




    -
     
  2. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Kevin

    After reading your article re: Mistletoe, I wish to respond to the following:

    ...I was reflecting on this negative attitude on this plant and similar attitudes towards other species plants, animals, birds, etc ... from a Human perspective and realized that humans treat and judge other humans the very same way. Or is it the other way around? Could it be that mankind's often inhuman treatment of other cultures, races, class distinctions etc has been transferred over from their abuse of the natural world's resources and that explains the sad state of affairs in our societies as well? I do believe it's both that reflect the mirror image of each other...

    I agree, and so did Bookchin (pp. 75-6):

    The notion that man is destined to dominate nature stems from the domination of man by man - and perhaps even earlier, by the domination of woman by man and the domination of the young by the old. The hierarchical mentality that arranges experience itself - in all its forms - along hierarchically pyramidal lines is a mode of perception and conceptualization into which we have been socialized by hierarchical society...

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  3. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Hi Markos,

    I haven't read Bookchin I am afraid but pondered the comments re hierarchy in relationship to other species. Animal behaviour and group dynamics in social (non-human) species is often very much hierarchical and this is an evolutionary consequence as it is to the benefit of such species. Until I get around to reading your reference....does Bookchin touch on this at all?
     
  4. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Apologies....that was a bit of a thread jack. Maybe Markos would be kind enough to send me a PM in reply?
     
  5. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Mistletoe is not deamonised in Europe. it is a valuable medical plant, especially in Germany where it is available in injectable form.
    It also has a lot of folkloric connections/uses
    I don't think the research has been done on Australian Mistletoe to see if it has similar uses to the European variety, as there is very little medicinal plant research on Australian natives in Australia

    . An interesting thought Mark; we do tend to change our views on people and cultures when we learn more about them. Similarly with plants?
    Or is it just we find how useful the plant and /or person can be to us?
     
  6. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    people used to worry that it was going to take over round here 30 years ago
    the same people recomended you try to kill it by pruning ,shooting, stem injection with various rates of 24watchamacallit
    it did kill a few eucaliptus melliodora but it didnt take over,though a neigbour has it in some of his english oaks
    cows like it
    perhaps people are suspicious of what they cannot reproduce
     
  7. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    We have mistletoe in some of our hill gums. I see a lot of very sick looking hill gum trees in our area with a lot of mistletoe in them. However, it is not the really the mistletoe that is making them sick I believe it is the fact they are 'stranded' in paddocks with no thick and diverse understory with its associated mycorrhizal (sp. ?) relationships. They then also become more vulnerable to serious attack from lerps. Then you have no predatory birds and insects because there is no understory! Taken all together, this will often lead to the sad looking vista of a paddock with a few scattered dead and dying gum trees in it.
     
  8. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    that could be why there are so many cockchafers it is part of the reason why they are in plague proportions here. though 170mm rain in december slowed em up a bit
     
  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    One can watch many grand old paddock Eucs succumb to death and I think mouse has the reason why for the reasons listed. Also, the increase in evaporation and compactions, the reduction of humus and soil organic matter in the life and death of short-lived species.

    If I can get around to it, I'll take a nice photo of a Mistletoe on a Corymbia tessalaris that has greatly taken on the characteristics of its host, and grown to a fair size over the years.
     
  10. Earth's Internet

    Earth's Internet Junior Member

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    Thanks for that link. That's why this illustration puts so much into perspective.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Earth's Internet

    Earth's Internet Junior Member

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    Forget it - go for it. I think we'd all like to know - *smile*
     
  12. juhill

    juhill Junior Member

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    Humans have done more damage than mistletoe ever could.
    I don't see it as a pest to be destroyed after all what would the little mistletoe bird eat??
     
  13. Earth's Internet

    Earth's Internet Junior Member

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    Yes thank you for pointing that out. I did speak about it much, but I did reference just what you are talking about in the bottom links.

    Every living thing has worth and value. Taking the time to become intimately acquainted with either of them will go a long way in a healthier Earth, but it has to start with our treatment of other humans. If human conduct is improved upon, then respect for nature will naturally follow. That's why I have always said that man's problems are of a spiritual nature and not something as seen through a materialistic eye. A materialist eye sits backs and judges from mere appearance without any obligation of understanding. I use the word spiritual in the sense that a spirit is something unseen, as in the case of personality traits as mentioned at Galatians 5:22-23 which speaks of qualities that are not necessarily physical, but if present in one's personality, in the sense such qualities are practiced, then they can be physically seen. But for the most part, even when bringing this subject up, many will often make fun of such notions. Especially over here in Europe, but I would mostly blame the Churches lack of example for that.
     
  14. Earth's Internet

    Earth's Internet Junior Member

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    Or even the microbes in the leaf litter dander under the tree or shrub ?
     
  15. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day MITH

    Bookchin (1921-2006) was a prolific scholar of the human condition, and by extension, how we as humans relate (for better or worse) with the non-human world in its entirety. As such, he is widely known as the 'founding father' of social ecology. Social ecology, as a conceptual framework, is very closely aligned with permaculture. Indeed, Prof Stuart Hill, founding chair of the Social Ecology unit at UWS, provided the forward to Holmgren's (2002) Pathways.

    The excerpt I provided earlier was extracted from one of Bookchin's more famous books: The Ecology of Freedom (1982). In this work, Bookchin describes in detail how social hierarchy has evolved throughout the history of humanity - from early, non-hierarchical, 'primitive' social structures, through to present-day, ultra-hierarchical, neo-liberal/capitalist social structures - and how this has been, for the greater part, to the detriment of the non-human world including all of its animal and plant species. Most importantly, however, Bookchin provided in The Ecology of Freedom, a roadmap showing how humanity how can devolve to a non-hierarchcical global community, and in doing so (or so the thesis goes) restore its rightful position as fellow traveller alongside (as opposed to decimator) of all other non-human species. If you get the chance, I thoroughly recommend The Ecology of Freedom - it was a groundbreaking revelation in my scholarly career.

    Bookchin (under the pseudonym Lewis Herber) published in 1962, and some 6-months before Carson's Silent Spring, a book titled Our Synthetic Environment. And I thoroughly recommend this one too. Damn, I hope I have piqued your interest, and that you'll now go out and read all of his work!

    Bookchin was a great human being. His complete life's work rates in the top ten of inspirations in my life's work.

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  16. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Thank you very much for the extra information. I will certainly get hold of his work as soon as I can it sounds very much like something worth reading :)
     
  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Michael

    Not my thought, just a direct quote from Kevin (EI) that I was responding to, albeit with another direct quote from Bookchin. However, your questions do raise some further thoughts in my mind. Specifically, how people's attitudes (prejudices) can change towards other people from differing cultures. A graphic example of this was the attitudes expressed by the people in the SBS series (1 and 2) Go Back to Where you Came From, and how these changed (mostly) toward a less xenophobic position.

    Cheerio, love your work, Markos
     
  18. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day MITH

    A great (and in true anarcho-eco tradition, free) place to start your journey can be found here.

    Enjoy, Markos
     

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