Understanding Ash Flower Gall on Ash Trees
While there are several examples of small insects that may infest and significantly damage your trees, there are also many that live in or around trees but don’t cause such damage. Some even ride this fence somewhat, creating minor aesthetic issues but not actually damaging any underlying health elements of the tree – and a good example here is a condition called ash flower gall on ash trees.
At Affordable Tree Care, we’re proud to offer a wide range of tree spraying and insect control services for all your trees, in addition to tree trimming and removal services for dead or dying trees. We’ll also inform you of conditions like ash flower gall and whether your trees require treatment – here’s a primer on this condition, the limited aesthetic issues it poses and what you can do about it.
Ash Flower Gall and Mites
Often visible during the transition period from winter into spring, ash flower gall is a condition where ugly brown masses may be left over on flower buds of ash trees. They are created by mites that feed on the male flowers of the tree, leading to brown or sometimes green clusters that hang from various branches on the tree.
Generally, this cycle begins with female mites nesting for the winter under the bark or bark scales of the tree. In early spring, feeding begins on male flower clusters, and this leads to gall formation on the flowers. On the back end of the cycle, the female mites lay eggs in the new galls.
Signs of Ash Flower Gall
There are several signs to look out for that may indicate ash flower gall:
- Galls from the current season become green early in spring
- Ball-like masses form on the flowers
- Galls from previous years have become reddish-brown – these can last for as much as two years
- When leaves fall in autumn, galls are often easiest to see
As we referred to earlier, treatment for ash flower gall is mostly a cosmetic area – this is because ash flower galls do not cause health-related damage to ash trees. Rather, the damage is all visual, as many tree owners understandably do not want to see discolored galls on their ash trees.
In many cases, ash flower gall will not be easy to get a handle on once it begins. However, there are treatments available in this early spring period that will prevent new galls from forming – but it must be noted that if your ash trees already had previous galls present from past seasons, this treatment will not kill them. It will only prevent new galls.
For more on ash flower gall and how to prevent it, or to learn about any of our tree spraying or other arborist services, speak to the staff at Affordable Tree Care today.