Gymnosporangium: cedar rust gall. One in this tree was so large I thought it was our dog’s frisbee.
The juniper nearest the house is covered with these things. It rained yesterday, which was welcome: rain means lots of wild asparagus, as well as a bunch of other happy plant life. Rain makes these galls form their little gooey arms. This is a fungus that affects the rose family, of which apples and pears are a part. I’ve got an apple tree 40′ from this juniper. I’ve never noticed a lack of apples because of it…and even if I did, I would have to get rid of a good 30 trees on our property alone to avoid it.
Gall, in the sense I use it when I think about annoying things like this war or this president (irritating, rubbed raw) comes from the Greek word cholos, or wrath; it’s associated with bile and “something bitter to endure.” I kind of like that. But this gall, an abnormal plant growth, comes from the Latin word galla, meaning, of all things, a gall (!) on an oak tree: an oakapple. Words are funny, but I still think Nature has the best sense of humor.