Italy House


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Oak tree

Oaks are very frequent in the vicinity of our house. Everywhere there are saplings growing up as well as huge, mature specimens.

They are sessile (stalkless) oaks as opposed to pedunculate oaks in that the acorns are not on a long stem. This is a shame because stemmed acorns make very good toy pipes.

There are some very large oak trees right by our house. The one in the photo faces the house across a dip and is a particularly fine specimen.

A fine oak tree - click to enlarge

A fine oak tree
Click on picture to enlarge

The oak tree which dominates the house has a parasitic plant growing in great tufts in its branches. This parasite seems to be some kind of mistletoe, but its berries are bright yellow and are mostly present without leaves - these in any case not being quite like normal mistletoe leaves.

Yellow-berried parasite - click to enlarge

Yellow-berried parasite
Click on picture to enlarge

Galls can be found on the oak trees - even on some of the small saplings. They are formed by tiny wasps laying their eggs in leaf buds which then deform and protect the developing grub which eventually emerges as an adult through a small hole. The galls are spherical and become dry and hard. We have garnered quite a collection and intend to spray-paint them to make Christmas decorations.

Spherical galls - click to enlarge

Spherical galls
Click on picture to enlarge

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All material copyright of Clive West and Damaris West 2007 - 2018 and not to be used or reproduced without written permission.

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