Aerial Christmas Tree?

Christmas tree1

One of the venerable old white pine trees, growing in Shoup Park just beside the severe weather warning siren, seems to be bearing a very nice, round Christmas tree about halfway up. See it? It’s as compact as a sheared nursery-grown tree. Its needles are greener than those of the rest of the tree. Wish some enterprising student, come exam week, would shinny up that pine, clutching in his teeth a string of Christmas lights with which to deck that pretty little offshoot for the holidays.  What is the cause of this unusual growth? A virus, or possibly some other infection? Or maybe simply one of nature’s variations on the “tree” theme?

christmas tree 2

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