Witch's Brooms

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edfrank
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Witch's Brooms

Post by edfrank » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:47 am

Barry Caselli posted a number of times about witches brooms. Here are some of those photos and links:

Barry Caselli, 1/4/10
I saw roughly 9 or 10 witch's brooms today in my short walk in Wharton State Forest. I photographed 8 of them, and here are 4 of the coolest ones. Hope you enjoy. The trees are of course Pitch Pine.
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https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en& ... vq-hVUT7d4
Most were very high up in the trees near the top. There was one that was on a tree that was only 10 to 12 feet tall. That one was maybe 4 feet off the ground. Tow of them, the two biggest ones, were about 12 feet up.
I've seen them in all sizes of trees, at all heights above the ground. I even found a tiny one growing on a knee-high tree one time. I find them fascinating to look at. And they are very common. Oftentimes you can stand in one spot and look all around you and see 3 or 4 of them, if you look hard enough.

Barry Caselli, May 15, 2006 19:53 PDT
One tree phenomenon that I enjoy finding here in the NJ Pine Barrens is "witch's brooms" (on Pitch Pines). From my limited research, this is what they are called. I don't quite know or understand all about them, but I enjoy noticing them while driving around the Pine Barrens. I have photos of probably 4 or 5 of them, but have seen dozens. Normally they are on a branch, but I know of a White Pine in a residential area whose entire top is a witch's broom! I have a photo of
it as well. Also I drove past it today.
Witch's Broom on Pitch Pine
Witch's Broom on Pitch Pine
witchs_pitch_small.jpg (11.39 KiB) Viewed 1318 times
Being that the Pine Barrens is such a large forested area, these things are quite easy to find.
Witch's Broom on Pitch Pine
Witch's Broom on Pitch Pine
witchs01_small.jpg (12.82 KiB) Viewed 1318 times
One time I found one on a White Pine at work, and someone ran some machinery next to the tree which it was on, and broke it off the tree. I've got it in the back seat of my car.

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/specie ... _broom.htm

Barry Caselli, 2/20/09
http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... _level.htm
Today I took a hike in Wharton State Forest, something I have not done enough of. I've lived 6 miles or so from Wharton for 24 years, and have driven through it quite a bit, but hiking is another story. FYI, Wharton is the largest unit in the NJ state parks and forests system, at 115,000 acres. It contains over 400 miles of sand and dirt roads, plus a couple of paved roads go through it. It also contains some marked nature trails. Today I hiked part of the yellow trail. I believe I did a round-trip hike of 8 miles.

It was around 32 degrees and windy, but I like the cold. I took many digital photos, and shot a couple of minutes of video as well, just to add a personal touch. I plan on making a Windows slideshow with the photos, and add the video to it.
Usually I try and photograph every, or nearly every, witch's broom that I see. That's not always possible. But when hiking it's easier, definitely. I saw quite a few. There must be thousands of them throughout the entire Pine Barrens.
One other thing I see a lot of in the Pine Barrens is branches coming out of the Pitch Pines at or just above ground level. I also see branches come out of a tree and droop down to the ground. I find the ground-level branches to be quite interesting. In everyone's experience, have you seen this on other species?

Another thing I saw today is trees that fell over, all the way to the ground, and then one or more branches became new trees. Anyone see this before?

Once I get the slideshow/video made and uploaded, I will inform the group...

All right folks. I made up the slideshow and uploaded it last night. Part 2 contains a tiny bit of video near the end.
As usual, read the full description before viewing. Here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MillerMeteor74
Just look under "videos" for NJ Pine Barrens Wharton SF 1, and NJ Pine Barrens Wharton SF 2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0IeAs3y4jw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0IeAs3y4jw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUB3N9ZOkgo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUB3N9ZOkgo

Barry Caselli, January 23, 2009
White Pine Witches Broom A couple years ago, before the forums became a Google group, we discussed brooming in trees. http://www.nativetreesociety.org/specie ... _broom.htm This is the largest and most conspicuous broom I know of. I happened to be in the area of this tree today, so snapped a couple pictures.
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http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... _broom.htm

Now I see them everywhere. But I drive through Pitch Pine forests every day of the year, no matter where I go. There must be hundreds of them in the Pine Barrens, or maybe thousands. I suspect thousands, seeing as the Pine Barrens covers a million acre area. The smallest one I ever saw was not more than 6 inches in diameter, on a tree not more than 3 feet tall. I know I have that one on video, but not sure if I took a picture of it.

Edward Frank, Jan 31, 2008
TOPIC: Craters of the Moon National Park, ID
http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... al_mon.htm

http://groups.google.com/group/entstree ... d63c?hl=en
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photo by Edward Frank - A limber pine tree infected with dwarf mistletoe. The mistletoe results in part in the formation of the witch’s brooms that appear prominently on the right side of this tree.
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"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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eliahd24
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Re: Witch's Brooms

Post by eliahd24 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:49 am

Witch's Broom in Loblolly Pine

I noticed a very interesting blob of needle growth near the top of a loblolly pine in an urban forest in Atlanta, GA, yesterday.
Loblolly blob.JPG
~Eli

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MickR
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Re: Witch's Brooms

Post by MickR » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:52 pm

Ah yes, I grew up in New Jersey and I called these "pine puffs" when I was little. In other species I understand you get clippings of such growth and can then cultivate prone or dwarf varieties of a species... am I correct in this thought?

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edfrank
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Re: Witch's Brooms

Post by edfrank » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:40 am

Mick,

Yes they they are cultivated to produce dwarf varieties as you suggest. I don't have any references.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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