One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Here’s your week’s mystery!

mystery #57

This is NOT a Pawpaw.  I just want to make that clear. Sorry if I have disappointed any of you.

Give me a guess!

~~~

This is an Oak Apple Gall. These galls are formed from chemical reactions given off by a wasp larvae when it chews its way into a newly forming leaf in early spring. Instead of growing properly, the leaf creates a home around the larvae that grows as it does, until June or July when the larvae changes to a wasp and chews its way out of the gall. This one obviously dropped from the tree early, possibly by a, er, squirrel biting off branches to add to his leaf nest.

Here is a website explaining more details of the life cycle of the wasp.

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4 thoughts on “One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

  1. This is an oak gall that has fallen from a nearby oak tree. This type of oak gall is a cellular disruption caused by a particular wasp. This year seems to be particularly “bad” for oak galls. I put “bad” in quotes as it isn’t particularly harmful to the tree… though somewhat shocking to human observers. We are receiving many calls at our local Master Gardening help-line about this. Likely, they won’t be as numerous next year or the near after.

    • Thanks for stopping by Sho’Nuff! We had seen a lot, but with tracking down real food, we hadn’t noticed there was an ‘epidemic’ this year. Glad you pointed that out.
      Hickory

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