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Walking in Southern Spain, I found this extremely large "growth" in a conifer tree. Can anyone tell me what it is?
This is an extreme example of a witch's broom - a type of abnormal, proliferative, growth, some of which are caused by phytoplasmas.
They occur on a variety of trees, perhaps more often associated with birches, methinks.
Here's another example on a pine - http://www.jaxshells.org/50314.htm
Deeper explanation here
Many thanks for your prompt reply Mike. I've seen these in conifers before, but never one as big as this. Interesting to think what might be living in it!!!