Witches’ Brooms

An Eastern white pine (United States)

 

Eastern white pines which are witches’ brooms sprung from seed were found growing in a colony of white pines in Maine.  They were transplanted to Mount Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware.

Their progeny, whether grown from their seed or from cuttings are believed also to produce witches’ brooms.  They are not more fragile or less long-lived than ordinary white pines.

The evolutionary significance of witches’ brooms is not completely understood any more than the chemistry of their eruption on woody plants.

However, many kinds of dwarf conifers of the kind now commercially grown for Christmas are descendants of witches’ brooms.

Pagan blow-back to the heart of an end-of-year celebration appropriated by Christianity.

Witch's Broom White Pines, Mt. Cuba, October 2015-09

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Witch's Broom White Pines, Mt. Cuba, October 2015-13

Witch's Broom White Pines, Mt. Cuba, October 2015-12

Witch's Broom White Pines, Mt. Cuba, October 2015-19 

3 thoughts on “Witches’ Brooms

  1. As I understand “witches brooms” they are trees which grow from the trunks of mature trees. There is one on the trunk of a tree at Villanova University.

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    1. Also, the entire white pine – each one of them – at Mt. Cuba is a witches’ broom. The seeds from which they originally grew in a clump of ordinary white pines contained the aberrant DNA of a witches’ broom.

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