Do you know?
I was hoping you could help me identify this ‘thing’ I found wrapped around the end of one of our cedar tree branches. We live in Western Massachusetts and no one I have asked has any idea what it is…cocoon, chrysalis, disease, pest, nest, dead caterpillar? I’ve heard every guess but no one knows for sure. It’s just under 1" diameter in either direction and is the color of cinnamon. I tried searching your site but not knowing if it’s even a bug has me stumped as to where to look. Pictures below. Thanks!
Rebecca M.

Hi Rebecca,
What you have found is most interesting. It looks like a Gall caused by an insect, but it is actually Cedar Apple Rust, a Fungus. According to the Ohio State University Fact Sheet site we located: “There are a number of ‘cedar rust’ diseases in which the fungus completes its life cycle on two plant hosts; one in the cypress family and one in the rose family (the rosaceous host). 1. Cedar apple rust (pathogen: Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae). The fungus alternates between Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and mostly apple and crabapple.” Later the site indicates: “Diagnostic Symptoms Cedar apple rust: On junipers, tan to brownish round to kidney-shaped fungal galls are present in winter and early spring (Figure 2). With moist weather, gaudy bright orange masses of gelatinous spores develop from these galls, and galls swell to several times their original size (Figure 3). Spore masses are several inches in diameter, with a central core and radiating hornlike tendrils, and are highly visible during moist weather in mid-spring. On apple and crabapple, bright orange-yellow leaf spots develop on upper surfaces of leaves in late spring (Figure 1), followed by light colored, fringed cup-shaped structures on lower leaf surfaces several weeks later. Damage on junipers is generally minor and involves presence of the galls and twig dieback. On apples and crabapples, fruit infections and leaf drop also can occur. ”

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