Mistletoe in Tennessee


R. L. James

Additional Authors:


September – 1958


Mistletoe, Tennessee, Phoradendron, flavescens, Castanea, dentata, Juniperus, virginiana

It seems that about my first remembrance of the American Mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens (Pursh) Nutt.) dates back to the first decade of the present century. My father, an uncle, and two of my older brothers cleared a “‘new ground” from a virgin deciduous forest on my father’s farm near Russellville in Franklin County, Alabama. Chestnut trees (Castanea dentata) were very common in that part of the country in those days as they were in a large part of eastern United States, and most of the rails for fences in our neighborhood were made from chestnut, although in one section of Franklin County a large portion of the rails were derived from the red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). It seems to me that many of the chestnut trees which furnished rails contained much mistletoe. And even as late as December, 1920, a chestnut tree was cut on my father’s farm in order to obtain the large amount of mistletoe on it to decorate a stage for a Christmas entertainment where I was then teaching in a one-room school.