15, 2006 19:53 PDT
One tree phenomenon that I enjoy finding here in the NJ Pine
"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
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
it as well. Also I drove past it today.
Witch's Broom on Pitch Pine
Being that the Pine Barrens is such a large forested area, these
are quite easy to find.
Witch's Broom on Pitch Pine
One time I found one on a White Pine at work, and someone ran
machinery next to the tree which it was on, and broke it off the
I've got it in the back seat of my car.
15, 2006 21:48 PDT
And what do folks say when they see your witches broom sitting
in the back
of your car?!
Years ago (1978? 1979?) I had a wonderful '63 Ford Fairlane 500
that I named
"Little Wing" (in honor of both her little wings at
the back and because I
love Jimi Hendrix guitar...). Anyway, I had been collecting
conks from my
endeavors in the forest and had decorated my back dash with
them, lots of
them. Some were fairly good size and I still have most of them
to this day.
I thought they looked very nice sitting in my car. One day I
pulled into a
gas station in downtown Springfield (MA) and the attendant, a
young man who
definitely looked liked he'd rather be playing video
games...except I don't
think they'd been invented yet...well, as he was attending my
car, back in
the days when many, many service stations still had attendants
and it was
winter and I was already freezing seeing as I had no heat in the
yes, I let him do the gas filling routine while I huddled in my
anyway, he hesitatingly said, "Uh, ma'am, do you know that
you have a bunch
of fungus in the back of your car?!" I replied with a grin
"Yes, I put it
all there!!!" and drove off. I know the young man thought I
must be insane
and I still chuckle about the horrified expression on his face!
I have all
sorts of conks, rocks, tree cookies, etc. all over my abode...
even a tail
or two from some unfortunate creature that I came upon. My
I'm nuts but they should go to the house of a former assistant
collected moose turds and made them into house
decorations...such is the
Life of Forest Workers!!!
16, 2006 01:57 PDT
My car is big and has tinted windows, so people can't really see
the back seat. Plus right now the car is off the road and I
pickup every day. The only people who have seen it are those who
16, 2006 13:57 PDT
Barry and Michele,
I wasn't quite sure what is a "Witch's Broom" so I
looked it up on the internet. I found a couple of intresting
links regarding them in white pine:
The Wicked Witch That Haunts And Kills Trees
Village Garden Web Forum
I saw brooms like these at Craters of the Moon National Park in
Limber Pine? trees along the Devil's orchard Trail. I have
attached a small photo. These were caused by mistletoe affecting
the growth pattern of the tree. I have not noticed them in trees
around here, perhaps I need to pay more attention.
The Pine Barrens are a unique ecosystem. I would be worthwhile
to document some of these forests, tree types and sizes,
associated plants, and setting for our dataset, even if they are
not the tallest pine trees.
16, 2006 14:49 PDT
Thanks for the links.
One favorite broom is one that's along the Harrisville-Martha
Washington Twp., Burlington County, NJ. Harrisville and Marth
ghost towns in the Pine Barrens. That road is a one-lane sand
broom is right along the roadside. In my travels through the
Barrens in the last 21 years I've probably seen several dozen of
all in Pitch Pines except for the 2 White Pines mentioned
may have also seen them in Atlantic White Cedar. I'm not sure.
We have a
lot of that here too.
16, 2006 15:12 PDT
In West Virginia we see witches brooms from mistletoe in black
gum and awful
lot and although it can be found in several other species black
gum seems to
be the favorite here.
It is invisible most of the growing season but once the leaves
drop in the
fall it is hard to miss those patches of evergreen leaves and
fat limbs with
contorted twigs in the upper and outer branches of the BG trees.
I know it
wrecks the timber but it isn't really a major problem for us and
I like knowing
we have some in our woods at Crummies Creek.
I don't know if they harvest it in other places for sale around
but some resourceful people in these parts will shoot the
branches with the
biggest clumps of mistletoe off the trees and gather it from the
ground as it
falls. However, black gum has such a low commercial value that
sometimes just cut the trees down to harvest the plant.
17, 2006 04:01 PDT
Witch's brooms are mostly responsible for the compact cultivars
that are on the market. Take a cutting from one and root it and
it keeps growing that way.
Witch's broom pictures
20, 2006 15:55 PDT
Just wanted everyone to know, I finally found the pictures of
Pine, in which the entire treetop is a witch's broom. I uploaded
pictures of that tree, plus one more of one on a Pitch Pine,
picture of one on a Scrub Oak.
Plus I've now got all the flower and plant galleries completed
I did some more uploading, some deleting, and some rearranging.
are some flowering trees included.
I think you will enjoy them.
See link below.
White Pine Witches Broom