Maple Bladder Gall Mites
If you have ever looked closely at the leaves of your red or silver maple tree then you may have noticed small wart-like bumps covering the surface. Don’t panic! These bumps are the result of a tiny mite insect called Maple Bladder Gall Mites. These little guys start feeding on newly emerging leaves in early spring. As the leaf develops the Gall Mite uses the leaf tissue and forms a hard casing around itself. Safely inside the case, the Gall Mite matures into adulthood to lays eggs and then dies. The emerging larva eat their way out of the gall and continue to feed. As the season winds down, the Bladder Gall Mites find cover in the bark of the tree and there they stay until spring. Although the damage caused by Maple Bladder Gall Mites may look severe, they actually do not interrupt the functions of mature trees enough to warrant control. Younger trees may be more susceptible and may require an application of Dormant Spray Oil in the spring or pick off infected leaves as they appear.