Cedar Apple Rust Gall
This may look like something from outer space, but it is just a strange fungus. The Cedar Apple Rust Gall leads a double life, one part on Eastern Red Cedar trees and the other part on apple trees. In the winter it lives as a hard brown gall on the twigs of a cedar tree. The orange, spore-producing growths, called "telia" swell when they absorb water from rain. As the telia swell and shrink they eject spores into the air. If the spores land on the wet leaf of a near-by apple tree they can grow. Later in the summer spores are released and drift to cedar trees, starting the process all over again. The following photo shows a "ripe" gall.