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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - May 21, 2013

From: Fairfax, OK
Region: Select Region
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: What are the green round growths on the edges of my oak leaves in Fairfax, OK
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

round growths on the edge of oak leaves. ranging in size from a pearl to a lime. ranging in color from pale green to lime green. hollow, small ones appear to contain one small gnat sized seed. the large ones contain a wad of white fuzz similiar to dandelion fuzz

ANSWER:

The growths that you see on the oak leaves are galls, and can be caused by various insects depositing their eggs in the plant. The tree reacts by forming tissue around the eggs, and the insect's larvae develop inside the gall, feeding on the gall tissue. It sounds to me like this may be the Oak Apple Gall. This link explains the condition further. Click here for more images.

The gall wasp Amphibolips confluenta is the culprit in this case.



 

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