6th September 2002 – How galling…

Each year it feels like the oaks are slow to get growing but then everything speeds up. Leaf growth, herbivores, predation all ramp up throughout the growing season until by the start of September the leaves are looking tired and in some cases well galled.

These Cherry Galls, the work of a wasp Cynips quercusfolii, are particularly striking. I find one leaf with five separate galls, each the size of a marble, pulling the leaf downwards. The speckly saucers above them are made by the Common Spangle Gall Wasp and there are the pale patches of leaf miners, either moth or fly larvae, as well.

The second photo shows just what an oak tree has to contend with. The undersides of leaves are almost completely covered with Common Spangle Galls and Silk Button Galls.

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