witch's broom

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by April S, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. April S

    April S Member

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    Greetings!

    I am attaching a picture of what I believe is known as "witch's broom". I cut it off an evergreen huckleberry which seems to develop this periodically. I was told by an arborist to burn it. As I look around for more information about it, I am puzzled about it and its relationship to mistletoe. I read in Plants of Coastal BC that mistletoes cause witch's broom. Another arborist told me that witch's broom causes mistletoe. (How?) Mistletoe is parasitic; witch's broom is "disorganized growth"? I have a couple of good sized hemlock which I value, and don't want them harmed by mistletoe or witch's broom (or anything else!). Do I need to be concerned about any of this?

    Thank you for any comments,
    April
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Witch's brooms can be caused on some plant species by mistletoes, but there are numerous other causal agents on various different plants, often fungi (e.g. Taphrina).

    A broom on one species is highly unlikely to infect a different species.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    This is a smut. Look in your book under evergreen huckleberry, if it is Pojar & Mackinnon I think you will find they talk about it there.
     
  4. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Those of you interested in the witch's broom there was a great thread a while back. Try... search / show posts and enter "witch's broom " = correct spelling . Witches broom also caught some stuff.

    Liz
     
  5. April S

    April S Member

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    Thank you for all the information!

    April
     

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