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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
oak galls

Oak Galls

Posted by John Fulton -

One group of problems showing up is galls. Galls are swelling of leaves, twigs, or other plant parts. Most are caused by mites or wasps. They damage the plant parts and the plant responds with a gall. In the case of leaves, the swelling is actually leaf tissue. This is something I like to refer to as similar to you getting a mosquito bite. The damage comes in and a swelling occurs. There is no way to get rid of it without tearing a small hole in the leaf. The maple leaf bladder gall will be easily spotted on silver maples in the area shortly, and oak leaves in the red oak group are also showing galls.

Oak trees probably have more galls than any other group of trees. Several samples have also been brought in of the stem types of galls. I saw three different types of galls on one branch this week. Fortunately, the oak galls are usually not the type to kill tissue beyond them. However, the galls aren't the most pleasant things to look at. That is the main thing – they are unsightly.

There is no cure for galls, as they are caused by insects before you see the swellings. The timing would be impossible to try and prevent the insects.



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