Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Some Gall

As always at this time of year, the trees and hedgerows are beginning to show signs of attack, not just from delinquent children with nothing better to do than to break off branches and pull up wild flowers. The attack I refer to is from much smaller assailants like mites, flies and gall wasps. Oak trees are always among the worst affected - and infected. The results can be quite attractive as in these small Cherry Galls.
These galls are produced on the underside of oak leaves by a small wasp called Cynips quercusfolii. The wasp lays its eggs in dormant oak leaf buds and the resulting wasp larva causes a reaction in the leaf making the tree produce the 'cherry' within which, the larva grows before maturing in the autumn when the leaf drops to the ground.
For now, they just look rather attractive on the leaves.
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