Friday, 2 May 2014

Oak apples

These galls on oak shoots are the result of an egg laid in the oak by a tiny gall wasp.  The tree produces a soft, spongey 'oak apple', which provides food for the wasp grub at minimum cost to the tree. 
The strange thing is that an egg from a different species of gall wasp will produce a different gall such as the marble gall, (which is hard and much smaller - like a marble), or the knopper gall (which is like a pine cone growing on the acorns).
Oak apples are present now on young oaks up near post 4 on the self-guided trail.

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