My oak tree has dropped a few balls made of a papery type material. Inside there is something that looks like the flower on a bottle brush tree, only it's white. Is this normal?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Holly from Richardson, TX
I'm not sure what they are, but mine has dropped a few too, so it must be normal. It seems to drop only a couple per year. It'll be interesting to see if anyone can tell us anything.
The oak tree looks perfectly healthy, and has been dropping a few occasional balls for 2 years. More noticeable when the wind blows.
They aren't oak galls, because I looked it up on the internet.
By Lynda (Guest Post) 06/20/2007
I was concerned that they are dropped by squirrels in the trees, which then grow the wild vines with
heart-shaped leaves that entwine the entire area it's near? When I see one, I grab it and toss it. I think there's one on the sidewalk under one of the Oaks
right now, so don't fret. I don't believe they're from Mars, like they look. lol God bless you. : )
By shelly (Guest Post) 06/20/2007
I think they call them monkey balls, I used to live in northen ohio on the lake and the same thing would happen at the start of summer...
We live in Rowlett and my neighbor has a red oak dropping "bally" things. They are a tad bit smaller than a golf ball a nd are light brown w/ a thin "crunchy" outer layer. He says its normal because I asked what they were.
I've been collecting them and disposing of the balls in the trash, thinking they were some sort of a fungus and trying to prevent a spread, but this tree looks perfectly healthy. Bigger than a golf ball.
By Carol VanDeventer (Guest Post) 10/19/2007
These little round balls, according to my extension agent, are called galls. Certain wasps or flies lay their eggs on the tree limbs and the eggs receive their nutrients from the tree, forming the ball. It falls from the tree after it passes through a few stages. You can cut one open and find a maggot size, white insect inside if you get it at the right time. I was told these galls would not hurt the tree.
My husband and I own our home in the country and are on five acres of land with a ton of oak trees...our trees drop these balls every fall...it is normal. They usually will drop the balls around the time their leaves start falling. They are very normal and it happens every fall here and I don't know that one of our oak trees hasn't dropped these. Of course our oak trees are quite old so there may be a difference between the younger trees not dropping as many of these.
but yes it is normal...they contain a white fuzzy like material...sortof like cotton but not as thick. we normally just rack them up along with the leaves each year. hope this helps. God bless
By Ginny Brown (Guest Post) 04/04/2008
We are trying to find out what these are as well. Except on our tree, they bloomed in Spring. Their a little bigger than a Golf ball, green skinned and have white, styrofoamy material inside. We really would like to know.
By Tsasuyed (Guest Post) 05/12/2008
these are "oak balls" and i'm told are edible if green/gathered in spring and properly prepared but I've not eaten any
medicinal value to the original inhabitants of this land
By jackie (Guest Post) 05/18/2008
My two grandchildren and I have just come back from walking the dogs/nature walk . We have some oak balls - small brown and the whitish ones. The children have cut them open, flower FORMATION IN in one and small hole and insect in the brown one so insect /wasp made?
By Mike 04/26/2009
My tree in the back has a ton of the green ones, they taste flavorless, but still look like apples. I found one as big as a baseball!
By Genevieve R. 04/03/2015
Mike, I think your tree is not an oak, but a Osage Orange. Commonly called horse apple tree, in the north east they are called monkey balls,they are a member of the mulberry family. I think they are poisonous so please don't eat them.