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Home >> Departments/Offices >> Cooperative Extension >> Pest of the Month >> May 2

May 2

GALLS

Ever notice funny shaped growths on your plants? They may have been galls. Many things cause these swellings but they are usually the result of an insect. Galls occur on a wide variety of woody plants and vary in size, shape, texture and color, depending on the insect. Galls are abnormal growths formed as a response to the insect's egg laying or feeding.

What to Look For: Galls are primarily a pest of trees. Galls are found most commonly on the stems and leaves, but also occur on trunks, flowers, leaves, petioles and roots.

What to Do: Galls do not seriously harm the plant. If the plant is unhealthy it may be more susceptible to damage. Fertilize, water, mulch and prune to keep plants healthy. Some galls on stems and limbs may be pruned and destroyed. Once formed, you cannot kill the gall insect with insecticides because they are well protected inside the gall. Leaf galls will drop off with the leaves.