Leaves are an integral component of your trees’ health and beauty. You must ensure the leaves look their best always. But have you noticed unsightly bumps on tree leaves?
You could be dealing with leaf galls or oak leaf blisters. These bumps may not pose a serious threat to your tree’s well-being, but you shouldn’t play them down. They can deprive your tree of the energy and nutrients it needs to thrive.
In this blog post, Memphis’ professional tree removal company teaches you everything you should know about the bumps on your tree leaves.
Leaf Galls 101: Where Do They Come From?
Leaf galls can make your tree look ugly, but they don’t cause serious harm. These pesky bumps and imperfections usually result from feeding insects or other foreign organisms like mites, fungi, and bacteria.
By the time you notice the bumps on tree leaves, the organism would be long gone. Not even eggs, or any other part of their life cycle, will remain behind. The gall is actually the tree’s reaction to the irritation.
It’s similar to the bump you get after an insect bite. The biggest difference is that the bump on the leaf is permanent. Galls can also form on the twig and stem, but the ones on the leaf are the most noticeable.
Young trees and leaves are the most vulnerable to attack by insects and other organisms. You’ll hardly see such ugly spots on mature leaves. You’ll often experience significant damage after a mild winter when more insects have survived and are looking for food.
Leaf galls may not kill your tree, but they can weaken it and make the leaves fall prematurely. The leaf loss will hamper photosynthesis and make your stressed tree weaker. But if your tree is healthy, it can quickly develop new leaves and recover.
How To Deal With Leaf Galls
When faced with maple bladder galls or any other kind of galls, the best course of action is to leave them alone. Treatment won’t do much because the tree leaves were already damaged before the gall formation.
Do you experience this problem every year from the same insect? Then controlling that insect’s population on your property can minimize the damage to your trees.
You can use dormant oil to prevent insects from eating your tree leaves. You should spray it in early spring when trees are starting to leaf out. That’s when insects come to feast on the tender young leaves.
If you don’t want to go through all the trouble, you can wait for nature to take its course. Predators will eventually feed on the gall-making insects!
Call Your Local Tree Experts for Help
Need professional help with bumps on tree leaves? Spruce Up Tree Care is your go-to local arborist. We provide a wide selection of services, including:
- Tree pruning
- Tree removal and planting
- Pest and disease control