Updated on April 13, 2015
We got wasp balls!
Our new house has two lovely baby Live Oak trees in the front yard. We noticed these little berry-like balls growing off the bottom of the leaves.
After trolling the interwebs, I’ve learned that these are called galls. Apparently certain types of wasps think Oak trees are nice secure places to lay their eggs. They inject each egg into the leaf, and the tree then responds by creating a protective ball around the egg.
Apparently this is harmless to the tree, other than possibly causing the leaf to deform. It just freaks out the owner.
- Dr. Parsons, Jerry, Oak Leaf Gall, Plant Answers, http://www.plantanswers.com/oak_leaf_gall.htm
- Townsend, Lee and Ellason, Eileen, Common Oak Galls, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef408.asp