Mutation or just strange horticulture?

Found this pinus sylvestris growing on a property.


All that packed foliage is coming from a branch out of the trunk. How is this possible?

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I’ll add another picture showing the tree as a whole.

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That is crazy (but cool)! I tried to zoom in and see if I could find damage caused by deer, etc., but I didn’t see anything. That definitely isn’t normal. Maybe someone is doing some interesting pruning lol…

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That’s called a ‘witch’s broom.’ It can be caused by a variety of pathogens, including viruses. If they are grafted onto rootstock, they can provide new cultivars.

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A witch’s broom, awesome. Don’t know where I would get that info besides the mirai forum.
Cheers!

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amazing. Where’s that tree?

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Yeah. I’d like to go and … study it.

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The tree stands to the west of Stockholm in a town called Enköping in Sweden. Airlayer a sylvestris… ye I don’t know :yum:

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The view of the whole tree looks great. When I expanded the image, the witch’s broom just blows my mind.

You need specific advice on how to start these on root stock. Perhaps you even graft branches onto a different pine, slowly removing the trunks own branches and creating a unique tree.

PinusSylvestrisWitchesBroom

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I was thinking more on the lines that we need to identify these pathogens and test them in different species. Need more density in your yamadori? sure, sprinkle some of this… here’s the wikipedia entry on witches brooms.

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I’d love to have a pecan tree as a bonsai. The problem is the leaf size. Pecan trees have compound leaves. <== The photo at the top of that page shows someone holding one leaf with 15 leaflets. Bonsai artists have thrown pecan trees into the “won’t bonsai” category.

However, if I were to collect a specimen suffering from Bunch Disease, well wouldn’t that be great? I could be cultivating healthy pecan trees to create nice trunks and grafting Bunch Disease branches on to them. That much cultivation creates a real risk that the pecan tree in my backyard might develop it (and my neighbor’s yard, and her neighbor and …). Even so, I could start selling pecan bonsai to all my friends from Shreveport to Lake Charles, to Gulfport, Mississippi.

You’ve heard of Typhoid Mary? I think the USDA investigators would end up calling me Billy Bunch Disease.

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or on Wikipedia… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch's_broom
:grin:
Either graft it or air layer??

If you know the name of it sure… but ye a couple of searches on Google would have led me to it. Fair enough, just shooting some praise for the mirai team for setting this forum up.

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@Alex I would definitely suggest you do some research on propagating pines through rooting cuttings and/or grafting cuttings to rootstock. That Witch’s Broom is basically a new dwarf/compact Sylvestrus cultivar. Propagating it could lead to some real financial opportunities (selling to nurseries interested in new and interesting cultivars) and at the very least could make a fantastic subject for bonsai for you and you local club etc. Very cool! I’m jealous I haven’t spotted something like that!

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V. Cool! I always keep my eyes looking up for a broom. @Alex - if you cultivate it, you get to name it!

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Oh cool, a witches broom thread. This tree is down the street from my house in Portland.

The broom is about 30 feet in the air I think?

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Doug Wilson over at the Oregon Gardens told me a story about a guy who saw a witches broom up high like that. He got a shotgun and blew some hunks out and cultivated them. Legend? You decide. :slight_smile:

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Don’t know if my neighbors would appreciate that :laughing:

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Some brooms are a virus (or other infection) and others are genetic mutations. The mutations are the ones that are successfully graftable. It is rare to see much money made from one…