Yesterday Walt took advantage of the decent weather to tackle the apple tree job. The goal was to get the gui out — gui, pronounced [GHEE], is mistletoe. Climbing up a ladder and using a long pole with a saw on the end, he cut off the branches that had the largest balls of mistletoe growing on them.
Mistletoe is a parasite. Usually it doesn't kill its host, but this apple tree is getting pretty old. Mistletoe loves apple trees. We figure this big old tree doesn't have too many more good years left — but there are three others. And besides, this one tree produces far more apples than we can ever use.
Walt cut out what must have been half a dozen big branches. They'll make good firewood, and we'll burn the mistletoe clumps the next time we have a bonfire outdoors. The hardest part of the job was getting the cut-off branches out of the top of the tree once they were sawed through. He said that nearly every branch in the tree has a clump or two of mistletoe growing on it, but mostly they are small.