Last year at the end of the dry season, when the record rains for the year had just begun, I noticed a parasite called “witches’ broom” (or, to be maybe grammatically correct, “witch’s broom”) on a nice little tree/shrub called Allophylus psilospermus. The tree most infested with these things was one I see every day out the kitchen window
This view of it was in March. In April I noticed the witch’s broom, and by June, this tree was the most heavily infested of the ones in the back yard. The witch’s brooms come in the green clumps and appear to infest the inflorescence. In the next image, the witch’s broom is the large clump at lower left, the inflorescence is at about 1:00 in the upper right.
Wherever I looked in this particular tree, there were numerous clumps of witch’s broom.
Eventually the witch’s broom clumps turned brown and appeared to die off. I know nothing of their life cycle, so I can’t say what happened after that.
But I certainly know what happened to the tree so badly infected. By December, it was dead, or if not dead, then so heavily damaged that it might not survive. The other trees in the area have not been so severely damaged as this one, but none of them are as healthy-looking as they were this time last year.
Here we are in February 2011, and the tree still looks like this. I have little hope for it.