A sapling… Hawthorn, I guess. The spine and twig swellings suggest galls to me, but I haven’t tracked any causative agents.

Hawthorns, genus Creteagus, have a colorful taxonomic history. Find a century old tree book and you’ll see hundreds of species in North America alone. In the northern hemisphere, there were supposed to be about 1000 species all told. Today, a couple hundred seems to be the acceptable number.

3 Responses to “Galling”

  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander January 19, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    Look at a copy of any of Arthur Cleveland Bent’s bird write-ups and you find the same multiplicity of species names for the same species. A hundred years ago bird knowlege was much more local than it is now. I assume the same issue for other live things including trees. While itis possible a new species of hawthorn emerged in the last 100 years, it isn’t too likely. The high numbers from early 20th century naturalists were a result of not enough comparison available and no centralized data. We do better now.

  2. 2 Chuck McAlexander January 19, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Delete the chuckmac email. please. Use the one below. Thanks Chuck

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