Thursday, December 24, 2015

Under Mistletoe, but Alone Again, Naturally

Yesterday, I was pruning an old black walnut tree that needs a revitalization.  Well, after a while, I thought I discovered that it wasn't a walnut after all.  I came across a mass of leaves and green branches, and there were several of these bunches throughout the tree.  The leaves looked sorta like Guava or some type of Ficus leaves I'd seen.  And there were little white berries.  But the bark and structure sure looked like a black walnut, nothing like a tropical evergreen.  And they planted tons of walnut trees in the area.

So it occurred to me that these masses grew like mistletoe.  I showed it to my client, and she agreed with me, or maybe it was her suggestion in the first place.  I then went back to the tree, smelled the sawdust, and it certainly was a black walnut.  And it certainly is mistletoe.

So then on to my research.  My scarce experience with mistletoe was disappointing to say the least.  Thank the always reliable Wikipedia for coming through.  As it so happens, mistletoe is quite fascinating.  It's both good and bad depending on the situation and point of view.  If you're a bird, it's like a candy store, apparently.  It's a parasite, growing right out of the host tree, and eventually it can kill parts or the whole of the host.  Sounds like a lot of people I know or thankfully USED to know.

I'll let you go poking around for info on your own.  It really is an interesting organism and mechanism for the continuation of life.  Fun to read about.

If you're a foxy lady and enjoy pruning, you could help me and we could have a lot of Christmas-y fun and a very close temporary friendship.  Let me know.

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