Monday, September 17, 2012

The gall of them...covering my oak trees...

The gall of them.

 To infest my oaks and cause me all this grief. 

The mess, the dog dilemma, the work.

When will it all stop?

My oaks are covered with galls, caused primarily by insects putting their eggs in the tree.  I'm sure last year's mild winter, responsible for our over-abundance of insects is partially to blame.  One oak seems to have a terrible case of them this year.

According the Mr. Smarty Plants at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, they can also be caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes and mites, which I didn't know.

The most common insect wasp is Discholcapsis cinerosa, the mealy oak gall.  The females lay their eggs in leaf buds, causing the galls to form.

I know they're not harmful to the trees, but they sure are annoying the heck out of me this year.

My dogs seem to have cut back on trying to eat all the pokie oak leaves with the galls on them.  (Thank goodness - they don't digest well, so you can just imagine...)

And the deluge seems to be easing up a little.

What's next?  Locusts?

5 comments:

Rohrerbot said...

Don't stress. It happened to us a couple years ago. I thought the world was going to end but it didn't. In spring the trees began to bud out again like new:) They are kind of pretty:)

Carol said...

We get them here too. The first time we did I was freaking out. I thought the beautiful trees were dieing.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Gall is so interesting....some are so small and others are huge!!! It won't kill the tree but they look icky.

Diana said...

Rohrerbot - I'm not stressed; I'm sure the tree will be fine, I'm just annoyed!

Carol - It's a relief to know they are just making a mess, isn't it?!

Janet -- and we have all different sizes this year, though the vast majority of them are very small this season.

natalie nessi said...

Hi! That's the cycle of life. Don't worry all that galls will vanish in no time. Just be patient.
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