E.J.Wilkins

27 Nov 2006 521 views
 
supporter of
atom rss 1.0 rss 2.0
web browser google del.icio.us digg technorati
| lost password
birth date
cancel
photoblog image Oak Apple

Oak Apple

Another of nature's oddities.

This brightly coloured gall is common on Oak trees, it is caused by the activity of larvae of the gall wasp Biorhiza pallida. These galls fade to a spongy textured, dull brown; peppered with holes where the wasps have made their exits.

my vfxy

Oak Apple

Another of nature's oddities.

This brightly coloured gall is common on Oak trees, it is caused by the activity of larvae of the gall wasp Biorhiza pallida. These galls fade to a spongy textured, dull brown; peppered with holes where the wasps have made their exits.

my vfxy

comments (19)

  • Ginnie
  • United States
  • 27 Nov 2006, 01:57
I agree with Tim, Ellie, and wonder if we have such a thing here in America? We have plenty of oak trees, mind you, but I have never heard of or seen this. Approximately how big in diameter is this gall? Very, very fascinating.

I always have such great anticipation when I go to look at your next pic, never knowing what I might find. smile
EJWilkins: They are this colour in the spring, as the leaves open, now you've seen one you're sure to see loads and loads.
  • Martin
  • United States
  • 27 Nov 2006, 04:53
Thank you for the interesting explanation and the vivid illustration. How big is this thing? A couple of inches across?
EJWilkins: Thanks Martin. This one was probably about an inch and a half across and will have had a lot of larvae inside it. Mostly they are smaller.
  • E Etomi
  • Nigeria
  • 27 Nov 2006, 08:04
Interesting story and shot Ellie
EJWilkins: Thanks Etomi smile
Looks Yummy to me. Ellie is this edible. smile
EJWilkins: I don't think these are edible, but I think were once collected to be used in dyeing.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 27 Nov 2006, 08:43
Like the others said - check ellie's site and learn. I haven't seen similar before, not that oak trees abound in this country.

I have learnt from a winemaker on saturday evening that even if we grow oaks in the cape they are not fit for making wine barrels. We have to import from certain areas in france - has to do with the climate and humidity. So an oak tree is not necessarily an oak tree for the use. In a similar way i now think that a UK oak tree may have these galls and you won't find it elsewhere. Some more natural oddities.
EJWilkins: Hi Louis, that's interesting. I suppose it's to do with the size of the cells in the wood, too small and they're less flexible (or something).
I know oaks have the highest number/variety of insects of all UK trees, so are very important in the ecosystem. Did you know that the Tit family (blue tits, great tits etc) time their egg hatching for when certain oak moth caterpillars hatch out?
That's a strange apple .. greedy wasps !! A nice DOF and soft colours... I really like this one.
EJWilkins: It is a strange thing Florence. The wasps lay their eggs on the leaf bud, and this is what happens to it. Doesn't hurt the tree very much because it's got plenty of buds.
I've never seen one on an oak tree here either...what an unusual thing it is!
Nice photo, Ellie...I love the colors and DoF smile
EJWilkins: I bet you'll be looking out for them in the spring wink Thanks Sugarsnaps.
  • Ararat
  • Spain
  • 27 Nov 2006, 10:59
Weird and beautiful fights, the tree and the insect
EJWilkins: It amazes me how nature and evolution works things out to give us really beautiful and unusual things.
  • Mrinal
  • India
  • 27 Nov 2006, 11:11
Wow this one is great. Nice colours as well
EJWilkins: Thank you Mrinal smile
  • nev
  • Australia
  • 27 Nov 2006, 12:36
who said you can't get toffee apple trees. might decline on the first bite though. you always take great diseased tree shots ellie smile
EJWilkins: Now there's an idea, toffee apple trees, where can I get one?
  • Mal
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 27 Nov 2006, 13:43
I've never seen one of these El! Well spotted, great image. Mal
EJWilkins: Next spring you'll probably see some of these on every Oak tree you pass. Thanks Mal. smile
Well captured Ellie!
EJWilkins: thanks Dotun
  • Suby
  • Milton Keynes, UK
  • 27 Nov 2006, 15:37
You do learn new things everyday blogging, I would never have known that grin

Suby
EJWilkins: Thanks Suby smile
  • chris p
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 27 Nov 2006, 16:06
Nicely worked Ellie smile
EJWilkins: Thanks Chris
  • Roland
  • France
  • 27 Nov 2006, 19:11
Really nice colors and composition Ellie - great !
EJWilkins: Thanks Roland, Merci smile
Hi Ellie. The colours of the gall remind me of cooked seafood; lobster or shrimp, or even certain Sushi. Very strange imagination I have sometimes!!Love the pic. Very well spotted and executed. Kindest regards, Neil.
EJWilkins: You're right, same colours, and almost like a rice ball wrapped in very thin salmon ... but I wouldn't be so sure this would taste the same. wink
  • Ellen
  • New Zealand
  • 27 Nov 2006, 22:18
wow never seen anything like this on oaks in N.Z. they make a pretty photo tho.
EJWilkins: Thanks Ellen, I hadn't thought these were unique to UK trees, but now I'm not so sure. You'll have to keep an eye out in the spring, you never know, you might spot something even more unusual on the trees in New Zealand.
very nice work! lovely colours and fantastic backdrop
EJWilkins: Thank you so much for your nice comment Nicola.
  • ta
  • 10 Dec 2006, 15:04
What a vivacity.

Leave a comment

must fill in
[stop comment form]
show
for this photo I'm in a constructive critical comments icon ShMood©
camera DiMAGE Z5
exposure mode
shutterspeed 1/40s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO50
focal length 15.7mm
Tallinn MemorialTallinn Memorial
Dirty? Who, me?Dirty? Who, me?
Monastery of Jerónimos, BelémMonastery of Jer...

Warning