A Mystery? – No, It’s a Willow Pine Gall

Mystery Pod

Willow Pine Gall © 2008 Bo Mackison

Can anyone out there identify this? Looks like a small tree or bush, about 2 feet high, and I found it growing in the Ridges Sanctuary in Northeastern Wisconsin’s Door County.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. i like the blurry criss crossing

  2. jeanabaena says:

    cool plant but i have no idea what it is

  3. looks like it could be something from the pine family, but there are 100’s of them 🙂

  4. Gandalf says:

    Whatever it is it looks dead. 🙂 Alas I have absolutely no clue. Do you have a shot with more of the plan showing? That might help in identication. Also what was the habitat and other conditions? Sandy soil, wet, etc.?

    I don’t know that any of those will help me identify this item, but others who are smarter may be able to do so. I wonder if they can make beer out of this?

  5. My best guess is that it’s either a pine or spruce. Looks dwarfed, to have a cone and very little foilage.

  6. It’s called a willow pine gall. A very tiny wasp lays it’s eggs in the growing tip of a willow branch, and the willow reacts by developing this growth around the egg. The egg then hatches and lives inside the gall until it matures into the adult flying stage, then chews its way out of the gall and goes off in search of a mate.

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