Fruiting body slender, upright, 3.0-6.0 cm tall, the base usually distinct from a sparsely branched upper portion; adjacent fruiting bodies sometimes partially fused below to form a "pseudo-base;" individual branches round in cross-section becoming flattened above; color of lower portion dull cream-buff to greyish-tan, the tips paler; surface of upper branches more or glabrous or with scattered whitish hairs, the base often covered with a white tomentum; context tough, pliant, colored like the surface, unchanging; odor sharp, somewhat aromatic; taste not distinctive to slightly astringent.
Spores 14.0-19.0 x 4.5-7.5 µm, elliptic-fusiform (spindle-shaped), smooth, thin-walled, hilar appendage not conspicuous, contents densely granular, inamyloid; basidia mostly longitudinally septate; spore print not seen.
Scattered to gregarious, often growing under mixed coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and tanbark oak (Lithocarpus densiflora); fruiting from early to mid-winter.
No single macroscopic character distinguishes Tremellodendropsis tuberosa. Nonetheless, it has a "look" that makes it fairly easy to recognize. Important features include a tough, pliant fruiting body, cream-buff color, nearly parallel branches with flattened, pointed tips, and a terrestrial habit. Ramaria stricta and related species are similar but can be distinguished by a lignicolous habit. Another small terrestrial coral that bears a resemblance is Clavulina cristata. It also is small, pallid, with pointed tips, but it lacks a parallel branching pattern, and is found mainly with pine. If in doubt, a microscope will confirm an identification. The basidia of Tremellodendropsis tuberosa are unusual, mostly longitudinally septate, similar to those of the jelly fungus genus Tremella, with which it is thought to be distantly related. The spores are also distinctive, relatively long and spindle-shaped.