Subject: Iowa Gall found under Honey Locust
Location: Des Moines IA
July 31, 2014 5:10 pm
This morning I found this growth on the ground below a honey locust tree. It was under a suburban tree in the Grandview park area of Des Moines with no other trees very close.
I don’t take very good pictures, but the growths appear to underlie some sort of scaled leaves, as each is covered by a tissue with a midline, and there are scale-type structures further down the stem. The stem is woody and it appears some rodent has been gnawing at the base.
It weighs about an ounce and is roughly 6″ long, with 6-10 nodules the size of marbles.
Beyond my curiosity, I’d like to know if this is something we should be concerned about controlling in the trees around where I found it.
Thank you for your time. I can try for better pictures if you need or want them.
We do not believe this is a Gall. In our opinion, it is a Seed Pod. You observation that it was gnawed by a rodent is further evidence that perhaps a squirrel transported it from another tree. If you open it, we believe you will find seeds beneath what you have called the “nodules the size of marbles.”
I don’t want to disagree, but it is not at all symmetrical, and I’ve been familiar with the native brush and weeds for 50+ years. It might be viral. I’ve been an outdoors-woman and hunter all my life. I’m not saying I’ve seen everything, and I am still surprised but mostly it’s been insects I overlooked or invasive species.
I have asked the state entomologist and agronomist and will let you know what they say. If it were a normal plant structure, I would anticipate more symmetry. Also squirrels are almost as opportunistic as rats.
I’ll pass on their feedback.
Thanks for your time!
Please let us know what you learn.
Very cool! We do have several magnolia species in the area. The scaled structure is very close. I’ll read more, but that looks like a win.