The Q&A Archives: silver maples

Question: i have 2 silver maples that were bought,not we found some kind of bugs on the leaves,almost like green hard worms. what are these? we took off every leaf off that had them on it,i hpe that didn't hurt the tree,i should have asked you first though. thank you for answering my other ? yesterday also. mc

Answer: What you describe sounds like maple bladder gall or spindle gall. These galls are caused by a small mite, Vasates quadripedes (Shimer). The structures are generally noticed first in May, about the time the leaves have become fully expanded. At first the galls are green but they quickly turn pink to red and eventually black. Leaves frequently become so covered with the galls that they completely twist out of shape and may even drop early. Removing the leaves won't hurt your trees. In fact, the leaves would have fallen off eventually on their own. Some years are worse than others in terms of leaf damage. The little pests are difficult to control. Since these leaf galls do not cause any real harm to the trees, control measures are not generally needed. Glad we are able to help answer your questions. Feel free to stop in again!

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