If you have oak trees, you might have spotted small, unsightly brown balls at the end of some branches. They tend to look like a piece of fruit but they are generally embedded on what was once a flowering oak bud.
These balls are called oak galls and occur due to a reaction the tree has to a wasp. This wasp is a non-stinging species but they target oak buds in early spring. For a month or two they’ll be laying eggs and target the newly opened buds. During their egg laying process, they inject a hormone into the buds tissue which causes this odd shaped gall to grow. Its a type of allergic reaction, similar to poison oak or sumac.
Galls don’t cause injury but if you allow enough to grow, they can indirectly cause “suffocation” and in the end, the tree can die as a result.
If you’re finding galls on your oaks, the best treatment is to use is PROTHOR by both systemic soil drenching AND foliage spray.
Prothor is a non repellent and as such, these wasps won’t know its present. They’ll readily forage over treated buds, pick up a lethal dose and die. Buds which are up high will be protected by the systemic action assuming you treated in the fall or winter. But the spring time budding can happen before treatments can make it up to the top of the tree so you’ll need a good 3-4 months of being in the ground for the Prothor to help – especially if the trees are 50 feet high or more.
For systemic treatments, use 1 oz of Prothor in 3-4 gallons of water for every 10″ of tree width. So if the tree is 20″ wide, you’ll need 2 oz of Prothor in 7-8 gallons of water poured down small holes you poke in the ground around the tree trunk. The holes can be made with a piece of rebar or a SOIL AUGER like the one we have below.
Treatments should be made in the fall and then again in the spring so plan on treating twice a year.
For extra protection, spray the opening springtime buds with the Prothor mixed 1 oz to a gallon of water. Reach as many limbs as possible and rely on the systemic action of previous treatments to reach the upper levels.
Use a standard PUMP SPRAYER to spray the lower sections.
If you need to reach up 35-40 feet or more, our NO PUMP SPRAYER will help big time. It relies on air pressure and can be pumped up to 80-90 psi safely. The small one can hold 1.5 gallons of mixture and when pressurized, will pump out the entire contents with only one time filling it with air. It’s especially helpful when you need to treat trees that are not reachable with a garden hose.
This video covers all you need to know about the sprayer:
For soil drenching, the Soil Auger in a portable cordless hand drill will make ideal holes.