Woodland Diary

March 2005

Things to see now !

Oak Apples :

These little round wooden “marbles” are often mistaken for the fruit of the oak tree – which is of course the Acorn.

So where do they come from ?  In the early Spring a little wasp lays her egg in the leaf bud of the oak tree. This causes the oak to develop a “gall” to protect the developing larva. Later in Summer the little worm like larva burrows it’s way out of the Oak apple. Can you see the little Exit hole on the surface of the oak apple ? Oak apples contain high levels of Tannic acid and they were once collected and used to manufacture ink.