Devonian's picture

Strange Growth!

Observed: 27th September 2011 By: Devonian
DSCF3169
Description:

It looked something like "Witches' Broom" which I have only ever seen on broad-leaf trees. Here it is seen on Norway Spruce.
Maybe it looks something like a drey, but it was growing.

Identifications

No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Fenwickfield's picture

not sure

I also thought it only grew on broad leaved tree's,I would have said a nest which could have grass growth in it.

Fenwickfield

leenestofvipers's picture

Conifers

I am fairly sure they do grow on conifers in fact I think many dwarf conifers are derived from witches broom. I am no tree expert though.

Sarah West's picture

Witches' Brooms and similar

Witches' Brooms and similar are a mutation in the tree, known as galls "an abnormal growth produced by a plant...under the influence of another organism" (http://www.british-galls.org.uk/). There are various causes, e.g. gall midge, mite, virus, bacterial infection etc.
They are known to occur on spruces.

Sarah West
www.OPALexplorenature.org
OPAL Community Scientist
Yorkshire and Humber

David Jardine's picture

Not uncommon on Conifers

Witches brooms are not uncommon on conifers - they are just not as visible as conifers are not deciduous and the 'broom' remains hidden in the foliage. Around Inverness, they've been seen on Scots Pine, Larch, and Norway spruce.

Devonian's picture

Responses

Great comments. Thanks for providing so many details.