growth/"fruit" on my Japanese maple
We had a Japanese maple tree planted in our yard in the spring. Since we've fenced it in to keep the deer from munching on it, it seems to be doing OK. But today I just noticed this strange thing attached to one of the stems or leaves (the leaf is sort of clinging to it). Can you identify this and tell me if it's something I need to worry about? Right now it's just the one. You can't tell from the photo, but it's about 1.5" long, and perhaps .75" around at the thickest spot. It's firm, but the surface isn't what I'd call hard. It kind of looks like a soft pine cone, or perhaps like a raspberry, in that it has this bumpy surface. Hope you can help. In the absence of an answer, I'll probably remove out of caution.
We viewed your photo and cannot accurately identify the mass on the branch. It looks like it may be a cocoon or egg mass. This will not hurt the tree. Out of curiosity leave it be and see what comes out of it in the spring.