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Oak Galls (gouty oak galls).....

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by SmokinPiney, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. SmokinPiney

    SmokinPiney Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    In the Pines, NJ
    Just wondering if anyone knows about oak galls. Especially "gouty" oak galls (little black porous balls that grow on oak limbs). Alot of trees in our area have been heavily hit by gypsy moths and now all the sudden these galls are showing up on alot of oaks. I estimated that at my work alone there's close to 40-50 oaks that have em on a 200acre lot. I also have a few at my house startin to grow em.

    It's really wiping out the oaks bad. They start to drop there bark from the tops down and over the past yr or so they've died completely. Lucky for me the boss let's me drop em and haul em away as they die. Heck i dropped 3 of em today! But it sure seems like it's taking a toll on the woods. Even the state woods are being affected pretty bad.

    Is there anything we can do do prevent this? The state did all they could for the gypsy moth control ( a bit too late ). It just seems that after the gypsy moths rob the tree of leaves one or two yrs in a row, these galls show up and finish the job.

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  2. TKeller

    TKeller New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
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    Loc:
    western ky. (owensboro)
    Hey buddy. I agree with you 100%. I am in Kentucky and there are many oaks in my area(several in my woods) that have taken on these black balls from the wasp galls. They have killed and are killing many oak trees. But I have heard little alarm about this and very little discussion of this problem on this forum or otherwise. Another thing I have noticed is when a oak tree dies from these wasp galls it deteriorates very quickly meaning bark starts peeling and limbs start dropping. It seems the life goes out of these oaks fast. Hope this is not a epidemic in the making with the oak trees like the ash borer with the ash trees. Tony
  3. SmokinPiney

    SmokinPiney Feeling the Heat

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    In the Pines, NJ
    You aint kiddin about the life goin out of em quick. Once they start droppin their bark it's all over. The limbs start droppin, then the tree is basically bare. I've been burnin oaks that i cut down a few weeks ago. They're that dry!
  4. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    Oct 22, 2008
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    Loc:
    NJ Piney
    I've been noticing it a lot lately too! My lot is mostly pine, but my dad has them all over his yard. They are getting real bad around here. It's bad enough with the Gypsy Moths and now wasps. I wonder if they are gonna do anything about it? I'll have to ask my friend who works for the township.
  5. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Dec 14, 2007
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    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Oak decline.
    Contributors:
    sucking insects
    root rot
    root fungus
    drought


    they've been bombareded with all of the above for the last 5 years or so.
    I notice trees going in patches or areas.

    Most of the dead red oaks here have a black fungus on the wood under the bark. Whether that attacks (and is part of the decomposition process)after the tree is dead I dunno. Most of the tree "experts" around here are claiming the gypsy moths are what have done them in, but aroundme the gypsy moths have targetted mostle cherry and apple trees. I've seen another green larvae on the red oaks. Just one bad year of them, too. The trees have not been completely defoliated as gypsy moths have done in the past at all. I don't buy it.
  6. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
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    475
    Loc:
    NJ Piney
    Gypsy moths have been real bad around here. Last year we had big patches of forest that were stripped bare. After they eat all the good leaves they will even start eating Pine needles! Everyone around here puts the burlap collars to stop them little critters or at least slow them down. We even have companies that will pressure wash the trees to blow the eggs off.
  7. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Trees don't necessarilly die because of gypsy moths. They die because they become weakend from drought and/or gypsy moths and then are attacked by other insects or fungus which finish them off. I have seen many areas hit by gypsy moth and canker worm very light to moderate and recover the following year.
  8. SmokinPiney

    SmokinPiney Feeling the Heat

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    In the Pines, NJ
    Unfortunately our area was not hit lightly or even moderately. We had acres and acres of forest completely stripped of the foliage as bubba said, once they finished with the oaks and maples it was on to the pines. Every hardwood in my yard was stripped for 2 yrs straight till i finally controlled them with sevin and some duct tape round the trunks. Luckily i only lost one oak but the woods around me looked horrible this summer.

    It literally looked like winter time in august!!
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    We get the Forest Tent Caterpillar here in about 10 year cycles with similar results. At their worst, they had to call out the snowplow trucks to sand the highways.

    Lee is right, that the caterpillars in and of themselves don't kill the trees but weaken them making them susceptible to disease.
  10. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Sep 15, 2008
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    Loc:
    S/W MI
    The gypsy moth defoliates the tree and that reduces food stores going to the roots and that basically starves the tree and reduces the number of viable buds for next years growth. The black galls are evidence of fungal growth on weak or dead portions of the tree and when there is in a weakened condition from starvation the fungus spreads under the bark. By the time the bark falls off the tree has been dead for some time. If the root system is not too extensive it can survive and usually send up new shoots a larger root mass will die of starvation and subsequent invasions. If the tree has been able to store sufficient starches prior to the onset of gypsy moths it can recover if not then a portion at least will die. Where I can I prune the the tents and burn them and prevent the next generation from that bunch. Some short visioned biologists at one point said the moths were basically harmless but about two to three years ago there was a "release" of a re-evaluation of the earlier determination and depicted the real long term damage done was not readily seen until two or three growth seasons had passed if the tree survived. There is no such thing as a mild infestation as a mild infestation is just a slow moving major infestation.
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