Oak: Stem galls

categories: Oak Oak Insects Ornamental trees Ornamentals

revision date: 2022-11-25 12:39

Clusters of small red galls along stem of oak tree..
Oak stem galls
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli


Stem galls are caused by the feeding of several species of oak gall wasp larvae. Typical galls are enlarged or swollen. Galls associated with oak stems are often smooth and round, but may be elongate, thorny, or rough. They can be single galls or clusters of galls. Colors vary from green to reddish to brown, depending on wasp species causing the gall and the age of the gall. Many galls are also formed on the leaves. Twigs can be weakened or killed by infestations.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Pick out and destroy galls when noticed (when practical). Many galls mature in the fall, so gall removal and destruction prior to this may help reduce numbers of wasps in the spring.
  • Prune out unsightly galls to improve tree’s appearance, when practical.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended

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