My Live Oak has balls or cocoons around the branches with ants inside the balls. These balls vary in diameter from 1/2 inch to 1 inch. They have small holes just large enough for the ants to get inside and out. They are the color of the tree branch and have a shell thats crusted. The tree is dropping leaves. This has never happened before this year. The tree is about 6 years old. What to do? Herb
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 8:38 am Posts: 784 Location: ,
The balls are Galls, the result of tiny wasps that sting plant tissue to create a home for their young. Sometimes ants get into them. In and of themselves, galls are no problem. If you have a huge number of them, it may be symptomatic of the tree being in stress for some reason.
Live oaks drop leaves off and on all year round. Large drops tend to indicate stress, either from too much water (happens a lot, especialyl if the lawn is watered too often) or from drought if no water at all has been received for an extended period.
See if you can find out what id stressing the tree and correct that. If you can't find it, apply the sick tree treatment.
_________________ Shepherd of the Trees
It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields we know so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.
My live oak has these galls. My trees health is fine. My concern is the ants. I don't know what kind of ant is attacking my tree but I want to know what to do about them and what kind of ant it is. They are red bodied and a black tail. When they crawl their tail sticks up and sometimes forward like a scorpion would but they are ants.
Again, the tree seems fine. But, I want to keep it that way. There are several hundred on this tree.
I, too, have a large live oak, under no discernible stress, which in the last several weeks have virtually "sprouted" with galls. This is at a house we are selling and not occupying, but i go by every week. When I first noticed them yesterday, I thought the tree to be covered in "yellow berries", like what would see red on a youpon tree. Only be looking closer did I see they were covering many of the leaves. The tree still looks otherwise healthy, and was recently trimmed and inspected by a reputable tree service, but there are so many galls it looks very odd.
Are the wasps which cause galls beneficial, and is there nothing that should be done about them?
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