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What tree produces this seed pod?

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SpicewoodGirl
Joined: 4/04/2009
Location: Spicewood, TX
Posts: 3
Posted: Apr/04/2009 8:52 AM PST

My husband found this seed pod on our property. He saw some pods still on the tree and pulled off a leaf cluster. My MIL thought the leaves were Spanish Oak however everything I'm finding online is showing that Spanish Oaks produce acorns and not these pods. The leaf definitely looks like an oakleaf. The pods are light green to mid-green and very light and delicate (I tend to want to call them puffballs since they are so light). They have ever so slightly raised bumps and seem to eventually crack open. There is a seed inside- I believe it's a singular seed. I have attached a photo - I would be eternally grateful to anyone that can tell us what this is! This is such a mystery for us.

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Rashell blog photos
Joined: 9/17/2007
Location: Acton, Ca
Posts: 4230
Posted: Apr/04/2009 1:23 PM PST

Oak Apple Gall (amphibolips confluenta) maybe?


http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth/pubs/oakpests /p34.html
Rashell blog photos
Joined: 9/17/2007
Location: Acton, Ca
Posts: 4230
Posted: Apr/04/2009 1:31 PM PST

Some more info. about "oak apple" but of course I'm not sure that is what you have.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_apple
SpicewoodGirl
Joined: 4/04/2009
Location: Spicewood, TX
Posts: 3
Posted: Apr/04/2009 4:14 PM PST

Thanks! I think you're right on the money. I looked up the name you provided and found a site (http://bugguide.net/node/view/39774/bgimage) that had a photo of one that looks exactly like one of the ones that we have. My MIL wasn't sure what it was, I learned a bit ago that she thought it might have been a bug at first, but wasn't sure. Well - I never expected it to be a bug, but at least we have that mystery solved! Thanks again!
Rashell blog photos
Joined: 9/17/2007
Location: Acton, Ca
Posts: 4230
Posted: Apr/04/2009 4:38 PM PST

Glad we found what it is, sorry it is it.

Info. about Oak Apple Gall. Thought it would be a good idea to post it here.


http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth/pubs/oakpests /p34.html

OAK-APPLE GALL
Amphibolips confluenta

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

Importance. -- This is one of many leaf galls that affect oaks. These galls usually damage the tree less than do twig galls. However, heavy infestations of this and other leaf galls can cause premature leaf fall and are unsightly on ornamental trees.

Identifying the Insect. -- Adults are very small and dark cynipid wasps with an oval, compressed abdomen. The larvae are small and globe-shaped.

Identifying the Injury (figure 41). -- Galls are about .5 to 2 inches (12 to 50 mm) in diameter, and are filled with a fibrous mass. Each contains a single larva inside a hard center capsule. The galls are produced on the midrib or stem of leaves. Galls formed during spring are green, but become light brown on drying with a thin, papery shell. Oak-apple galls occur principally on red, black, and scarlet oaks.

Biology. -- Oak-apple galls, usually initiated during spring when the young leaf is being formed, sometimes appropriate the entire leaf for its own purpose. The biology is poorly known, but it probably has alternate generations on different host parts.

Control. -- Natural enemies are usually sufficient to control wasp populations. Galls can be picked or pruned off small ornamental trees.
mme3924
Joined: 4/09/2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 2
Posted: Apr/09/2010 6:46 AM PST

The reply about the oak apple gall solved my mystery, too. I found two of these in my back yard, under my red oak tree (oddly enough!) and thought they were seed pods. After two days of online searching seed pods, I just happened across the photos posted by a member and read the answers. Not at all happy that these are pests and not seed pods, but research says they are not fatal to the tree but unsightly if the tree is heavily infested and result in premature leaf fall. I've included a photo.

Thanks for solving my mystery!

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