Gall Makers Gall Makers

Disease Information

Gall Makers

 Symptoms and damage

Maples often develop irregular growths or swellings known as galls on their leaves. Gall development is a reaction by the leaf tissue to feeding or egg laying by various mites (such as Vasates quadripedes and Vasates aceriscrumena) and insects (such asAcericecis ocellaris and Cecidomyia ocellaris). Galls vary greatly in appearance from wart-like bumps to spindle-shaped protrusions to felt-like patches on the leaf`s surface. Each insect or mite produces its own distinctive gall shape. Often the distinctive shape allows for identification of the pest. Galls typically develop in spring at about the time that leaves are expanding. Once the gall forms, the pest is protected inside the structure. When homeowners see these growths on the leaves of their maples, they often become quite concerned. It is important to remember that while unsightly, they do not cause permanent injury to a tree.

Management

Since leaf galls do little, if any, long-term damage to the tree, control efforts are typically not needed or recommended. If a tree is small, the homeowner can handpick and destroy leaves before exit holes form to allow the release of the pest.

 



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