I’ve had people (a botany/horticulture double major included) tell me this is a California native mistletoe, but I’m not buying it. I’ve reverse image searched it, pulled up all potential candidates on the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources website, and I can’t get any more information about what to either search for or learn more about it.
This is a Jeffrey Pine and this was common to see on the other trees in the forest where this was collected (Southern California if that matters). Any help would be much appreciated
It looks like dwarf mistletoe to me. It’s a common thing on pines and other conifers around here ( Washington). It plugs up the tree’s vascular system, although Ryan has said that he has good results just removing the flowering bodies (that’s what you are seeing here). You don’t want to let them mature, when they do they burst open sending sticky spores out for some distance. If they land on another susceptible host tree they will infect it.
So it is a mistletoe! I googled it and it looks exactly like what the photo is, how annoying that I couldn’t find that as I generally pride myself in that haha.
To be fair the photos listed on the UCANR were nothing like mine haha.
I’ve collected numerous pines with mistletoe. Just keep rubbing it off and keep your tree healthy. It’s a symptom of weakness, a strong pine and manual removal will get rid of the infestation in a year or two.