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Dallas Morning News - May 20, 2021

Galls – Cosmetic or Serious Indicator


Proclaiming that galls in trees are simply cosmetic and not a problem is not quite right. Galls don't cause a problem normally, but they can indicate one. When present in small scatterings throughout the canopy they are usually more cosmetic than damaging. But, when trees are heavily infested with galls, there's a problem. The tree is in stress and needs healing.


Common hard mealy galls on stressed live oak


This year has another factor to consider – freeze damage. Trees that are off color or have scarce growth on the top limbs may have galls show up more heavily, a reminder to do nothing that will stress the trees further. You might also see an increase of diseases, insects, woodpecker holes or rodents chewing bark - as well as galls. Another symptom of ill health that's starting to show up is white scale on crape myrtles.


White scale on stressed crape myrtle. The toxic pesticide imidacloprid is not the answer


The answer is to aggressively stop poisoning your soil and your trees. That's means making sure the landscape company you're using (if your in that lucky category) stops poisoning your trees as well. What would my yard guy possibly be doing to poison my trees?


Lots of things. Top of the list would be using high-nitrogen, synthetic fertilizers, nitrogen-only fertilizers and especially "weed and feed" fertilizers. Fertilizing too much is also a serious problem, as is watering too much especially this year with all the rain.


Leaf galls on stressed red oak


Once again, the Sick Tree Treatment is the proactive answer - expose the root flares and apply organic fertilizers, compost, rock minerals, cornmeal, dry molasses and Garrett Juice. Spraying toxic chemical pesticides such as imidacloprid is a great example of waste, contamination, poor thinking and failure to solve the problem.





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