Friday, November 21, 2014

Who's Sleeping in my Hickory Leaves?


Earlier this fall I discovered something sleeping in my hickory leaves. The underside of the leaves were covered with tiny fuzzy bumps - galls. Some insect, possibly an aphid, had laid eggs on the leaf and the irritation induced the leaf tissue to grow around it.

There are all kinds of galls: marble-sized knobs on the stems of goldenrod, fuzzy galls on the underside of a leaf, smooth round leaf galls, knot galls, galls that look like a bundle of needles or thin leaves... and the come in all colors: brown, red, gold, green.

The best time to collect galls is in the fall - you can find them on leaves and stems. If you want to see what comes out of the galls, collect the leaves or stem pieces and put them in jars with net over the top. Keep them in a cool area and take a look every day to see if anything has changed.

Check out some cool galls here and read about goldenrod galls here.

3 comments:

  1. Cool. That would be fun to do with the grandkids. I had always wondered what those things were. Now I know! Thanks.

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  2. If you leave them be, will they kill the tree? These look a little creepy to me!

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  3. These are neat! I haven't observed them myself, so thank you for sharing. I just linked your post to one I just wrote about oak and goldenrod galls. http://www.shareitscience.com/2014/12/see-it-share-it.html
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and information with us!

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