How to Win Friends and Influence Trees

Finding Oak Galls

Finding Oak Galls

Have you seen these before?

There is a long stretch of bike trail on my walking route where there is not much to look at except cars and scraggly woods with pines and small oaks. The other day something caught my eye. From a distance it looked like a sycamore tree fruit. I stopped to have a look. It was an oak and the bulb looked like part of the small tree but I suspected it had something to do with insects. I took some pictures of it and of some others I found and once home turned to Google.

oak gall photo

Oak Gall Identification

I love nature and I love the Internet!

They are insect related. They are called galls and certain insects manipulate trees with chemicals to produce them. The insect takes advantage of the fast growth season to begin the manipulation process. It lays eggs in the tree then chemicals from the insect or the eggs begin to alter the genetics of the tree. The gall then grows and provides shelter and food for the larva. These insects are such good manipulators that their resulting gall looks unique to their specie. The trees are really good sports about the whole thing! The ones I found look old and dried out. On one of my pictures you can see an exit hole for the insects. Since it’s spring new ones are probably forming. Why now join me in looking for them!

UPDATE: I found a whole bunch on one small tree today! They were so cute and fuzzy and a little icky too. See a photos on the Doodles and Jots Facebook page here and here!

Galls are even victims of burglaries. Here David Attenborough explains…


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


    • Is is fascinating isn’t it?!
      I have been doing great with the walking. It helps that we are having beautiful spring weather :)

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