Sunday, September 26, 2010


We have lots of junipers on our property, including this great big one right near the house. Unfortunately they are prone to getting infested with mistletoe, which is a parasitic plant. If not removed, it can eventually kill a tree.

There's been a giant clump of mistletoe high up in this tree that we just hadn't gotten around to dealing with. Today, with some help from our neighbors Mike and Karen Sanford, that mistletoe is history!

Here's the Before picture. The dark green stuff is the mistletoe.

Here's the After picture. Much better! To the right is a close-up of the invader. We liberated some other trees as well.

Awhile back I had written a poem about the mistletoe in the tree pictured above. This seems to be a good time to share it!


There it is, high in the old juniper:
a plump green mound, strangling the trunk.
It will be a slow ebb, thanks to this parasitic
body-snatcher, the same one we kiss under
at Christmas. No wonder we have such grief.
One partner clings to the death, and longer—
not in love, but foreclosure. A strange aphrodisiac
to claim such power, guilty of murder by possession—
even stranger, to double as the Golden Bough,
brought down to Earth by lightning.
Like most things, the green blob blurs
good and bad, stoking heartache.
Mistletoe seems to say, if it feels good,
do it, just don’t come crying to me.