To be as near to the light as possible mistletoe grows high up in the branches of trees. It takes the water it needs from the sapwood of its host tree in order to survive. The mistletoe plant is a partial parasite. It can be found on several kinds of tree, such as apple, hawthorn, willow, poplar and lime. It is a partial parasite because it has green leaves and can make its own food by photosynthesis. But water and nutrients is taken from its host.
Birds spread the mistletoe seeds, which feed on the white berries. When the seed germinates, the young seedling develops a tough, wedge-shaped structure called a haustorium, which pushes into the host's sapwood.