A lot of the coniferous trees in this area have these strange tangled clumps in their branches. They look a little like squirrels’ nests or even, from a distance, porcupines. I’ve been wondering what they are – some odd plant parasite, perhaps? – and I finally found my answer: witch’s broom.
From Wikipedia: “A witch’s broom is a disease or deformity in a woody plant, typically a tree, where the natural structure of the plant is changed. A dense mass of shoots grows from a single point, with the resulting structure resembling a broom or a bird’s nest.” Apparently of diseases, pests, and parasites can cause trees to form them. And they do get used as nests on occasion, by flying squirrels, among other critters.
Have you seen any witch’s broom in your area?