By in Gardening

What are the Bumps on My Leyland Cypress?

We have a whole row of Leyland Cypress trees for seclusion. They have a slight tendency in summer to foster pests called bagworms. Having learned this, I make it a practice from June on to hand pick any "pine cones" I see dangling from branches. But this year I saw something different. I photographed it for Persona Paper this afternoon.

Growth-like structures, resembling mere extensions of the individual parts of the branches, mystified me. I figured they must be something special, since out of all the trees, I saw only this one tiny patch. The Internet, being what it is, it did not take me long to discover what the bumps on my Leyland cypress were.

They are male pollen cones. Funny, considering how tiny they are, that they are called cones. Have you seen these before?

Image Credit » Leyland Cypress male pollen cones. - Image by Vincent Summers

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lookatdesktop wrote on July 8, 2017, 11:52 PM

Not exactly. We never grew a cypress tree but we did have bag worms growing in our cedars.

MegL wrote on July 9, 2017, 5:56 AM

We have a lot of different types of conifers growing in this area and they drop pine cones and other cones quite a lot of the year round, though generally NOT at Christmas. I am currently collecting cones lying on the path and keeping them for crafts at Christmas. Some of the conifers at the golf course have very unusually coloured cones and some close by seem to get an algal growth on them, so they do not keep well.

MegL wrote on July 9, 2017, 5:57 AM

Must look up bag worms. I have never heard of those.

VinceSummers wrote on July 9, 2017, 7:08 AM

When you first discover these "cones," you aren't given the impression these are cones at all. In fact, I at first figured they were misshapen growth induced by some sort of parasite.

lookatdesktop wrote on July 9, 2017, 11:15 AM

I know they destroyed the cedar bushes and many others who had the same growing in the neighborhood. It was like some kind of ecologic epidemic event and happened in the late 1960's if memory serves me right. I personally never bothered to look this up in a Google search. If you find out anything about bag worms, let me know. Now I am curious.

MegL wrote on July 9, 2017, 12:47 PM

Ah right. What we normally consider to be cones are the seed bearers.

MegL wrote on July 12, 2017, 3:08 AM

I got to looking up bagworms on Google. They are the caterpillars of a butterfly or moth and each bag can end up holding up to 500 eggs that hatch about May each year.

VinceSummers wrote on July 12, 2017, 7:57 AM

And when a caterpillar grows in each "bag," the best way to destroy the contents (since the bag is tougher'n shoe leather, , is to squeeze it between the thumb and forefinger, shooting green goop out of the top. But watch out... If you are way too slow, they can stick their head out of that end and bite you. I know! But once bitten, twice shy...