But not to worry; these fascinating growths are a normal part of a healthy oak community.
|Spined Turban Gall on Valley Oak, with a bonus gall: the tiny orange sphere to the left of the larger gall might |
be a gall of the California Jumping Gall Wasp (inconclusive)
However, today I only have examples of three types of galls (four, I suppose if you paid close attention to the first photo above).
The first gall is a leaf gall, fascinating in shape, which is found on Blue Oak (Quercus douglasii) and Valley Oak (Q. lobata). The photo below is an example of the gall of a Spined Turban Gall Wasp (Antron douglasii) on the leaf of a Valley Oak.
|Galls of the cynipid wasp Antron douglasii on Valley Oak leaves|
The second type of gall, also pictured here on the leaf of a Valley Oak, is formed by the Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi. These little galls remind me of tiny pink chocolate chips!
|Galls from the wasp Andricus kingi, found on Valley Oak.|
In the photo below, the oak galls have aged to a darker color. The astute observer of nature will notice something extra special about this photo as well: not only a female bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) but her beautifully camouflaged nest as well, tucked in amongst the galls!
|California Oak Galls, with a female bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) and her nest.|
|California Oak Gall, also called "Oak Apples"|