Oak Galls

I found these oak galls growing on a small oak tree that is part of a hedgerow we planted a couple of years ago. It may look like something you could eat – one species is known as ‘oak apple’, but it is in fact the larva stage of a gall wasp.

Oak gall

Oak gall

Our native oaks are hosts plants to up to 30 different species of gall wasps. Depending on the type of gall wasp, the female inserts eggs into either a vegetative bub, a flower bud, an acorn or even the root of the tree. When it hatches the grubs secrete a chemical that results in this abnormal growth, know as a gall. It is this that encloses the larva of the wasp. The gall does not harm the tree.

Oak Gall

Oak Gall

I think these ones are Oak Marble galls (Andricus kollari), also known as oat nut, but am open to correction.

 

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