Wandering and Wondering (white mountain forest)

I regularly come across these odd growths in evergreen trees during my wanderings in the woods.  They seem to be very densely packed “mini me” trees growing on the larger tree.  Can anyone tell me what they are and how they come to be?  I even have one forming on an evergreen in my yard and I periodically check it to see how much bigger it’s gotten since the last time I looked.  This one pictured here I’ve seen in the Beech Hill area of Bethlehem, NH and it’s quite large, although not the biggest I’ve seen.  It’s probably about four feet across and about two feet high.  Inquiring minds want to know…

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2 Responses to Wandering and Wondering (white mountain forest)

  1. wendy wetherbee says:

    Hi Jeanette – if you ever get an answer on this — I’d really like to know too. I see them all the time and wonder… would love to know what they are, what causes them.

    -wendy-

  2. Jeanette Fournier says:

    Hi Wendy,

    I’ve learned it’s called a “witches besom”. They are caused by fungi or viruses and are not harmful to the tree. I’ve learned something new!

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