Why does my tree have acne?

A couple of years ago, we planted an Autumn Blaze Maple tree in our front yard, and the tree has been doing beautifully. We are dreading the day that our street loses our ash canopy, and planting as much as we can to soften the blow.

I took a close look at our young tree the other day, and to my horror, noticed it was suffering from a severe case of acne.

IMG_20150513_185654310IMG_20150513_185645245

Hmm. What could be causing this? After eliminating other causes such as poor hygiene and diet, I checked the internet.

Ah.

A new SPECIES OF THE WEEK: Eriophyid Mites (Though I’m not sure which: maple bladdergall mite: Vasates quadripedes, maple spindle gall mite: V. Aceriscrumen, or erineum gall mites: Eriophyes spp).

The red bumps are called galls and are formed as mites nibble at the maple leaves. Leaf tissue grows around and eventually encases the mites. Mating occurs within the galls, and then egg deposition. Young mites hatch and remain inside until maturity. They break out and start their own galls.

But thank goodness… I also found that they cause no permanent damage to the tree! Crisis averted.They don’t even recommend treating them except for aesthetic purposes. Whew!

Sources:

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/leaf-galls-maple

http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/maple_gall_mite.htm

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Posted on May 14, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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