Oak trees are usually not susceptible to diseases. However, diseases that attack oaks are usually deadly for the tree if the symptoms are not recognized on time. Oak gall is one of those diseases and a tree that has it will have scorched appearance, premature defoliation, and falling branches. When it comes to oak gall treatment, it is recommended to leave it to certified tree service in Fort Worth.
Keep reading to find out more about oak tree galls and what you can do to prevent or treat this disease!
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Oak Gall Treatment – Diagnosis and Solutions
Oak galls appear in spring and can be yellow, brown, or even red in some cases. They are caused by a certain species of non-stinging wasps that lay their eggs on foliage and branches and inject their hormones into tree tissue. These hormones protect their larvae from the surroundings, but they cause galls that can be deadly.
The disease can be stopped from spreading if the symptoms are recognized early and oak gall treatment is implemented. You may even have a chance to save the tree. Unfortunately, if you do nothing about it oak galls will eventually kill the tree as the infestation progresses.
Don’t hesitate to hire any of the Texas tree services if you notice these small, unsightly balls. Certified arborists will know to recognize oak tree galls via careful inspection of tree hormones and insect eggs. A continual tree health care plan will then be implemented, and it is recommended that you stick to it.
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Keep in mind that all severely infested trees and ground debris will have to be removed immediately. Pruning a tree is the most efficient way of eliminating oak galls and preventing further infestation. In addition, deep root fertilization is strongly advised and may just further help with preventing oak tree galls. These liquid nutrients are injected under pressure directly into the root zone. Experts say that by doing this annually, you can increase the tree’s immunity by 95%.
Below are the steps you should follow if you doubt your tree might be suffering from oak gall:
Check the bud break in the early spring, since these growths typically emerge there. Look for small, tumor-like growths on stems, branches, and leaves. In some cases, developing gall can also look like a big seedpod.
2. Look for Symptoms
Trees that are affected by this disease usually appear curled, blackened, or scorched. They also tend to fall prematurely. Sometimes, gouty and horned oak galls create solid masses around the entire branches.
Use pruning shears or as mall saw to prune out gall-infested twigs and branches. Step on or burn the galls if you want to kill the developing larvae. Put them in a trash bag or a tightly sealed baggie and discard.
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4. Prevent the Spread
You have to do everything you can to spot this oak tree disease from spreading on to other oak trees in the area. Rake up fallen twigs and leaves and throw them away. Insects that cause galls can spend the whole winter in this debris.
5. Reduce the Insect Population
Hang bird feeders from your oak trees to reduce the insect population that causes oak galls. Birds are natural predators of different gall wasps and can help a lot when it comes to eliminating them.
6. Use Carbaryl
It is recommended to use carbaryl when the buds break early in the spring. Doing this can help reduce leaf gall formation and stop adult females from laying eggs on your trees. Just make sure you follow the instructions on the product.
Keep in mind that stressed or unhealthy oak trees are more likely to suffer from this disease. Do everything you can to prevent it by mulching, fertilizing, and irrigating your oak trees regularly. Minor oak gall infestations are just fine, there’s no need to worry. They usually won’t harm the tree, but they just look very bad.
In addition, ants, spiders, and other bugs will move in the galls once the insects leave them. Then, they attract more wasps that produce galls, and you create a never-ending cycle. Consult with your local arborist to determine whether there’s a need to completely remove all the galls from your oak trees.
Q: How do you get rid of oak galls?
A: Use pruning shears or a small saw to remove any infected twigs and branches. Then, make sure to kill the developing larvae by burning or stepping on it. Discard the debris immediately after eliminating larvae since wasps that cause galls can spend entire winters in it.
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Q: What is inside an oak gall?
A: A tiny wasp larva is inside an oak gall. Non-stinging wasps inject hormones into trees that create these small balls to protect their younglings. Female midges lay their eggs in early spring and they create these structures as protective barriers. Soon after the eggs are laid, the galls start forming.
Tree Service Removal Overview
Oak gall treatment is pretty straightforward. You just have to prune the tree and remove the fallen debris. However, recognizing symptoms and diagnosing the tree with oak gall can be quite a challenge. This is why you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a certified arborist to get help. Once you’re sure that your trees have oak galls, you can start with pruning. Make sure you follow the steps above to prevent oak galls from returning!