Oak trees

Homeowners may encounter a variety of strange, misshapen growths on the leaves of oak trees during late spring through fall. These growths are called galls.

Every year I receive numerous questions about strange, misshapen growths on the leaves of trees. These growths, known as galls, are often the result of certain types of insects depositing eggs on leaves or feeding on leaves.

Galls are tumor-like growths produced by the plant in response to chemicals injected into the plant by the larval stage of a gall-making insect. The shape, size and form of the gall are determined by the precise “cocktail” of chemicals produced by each species of gall-maker.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

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