Oak Leaf Blister

(Taphrina caerulescens)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Season

 

Habitat/Hosts

Cool, wet environments. Oaks.

 
Identification

Oak Leaf Blister is a common and widespread disease-causing (pathogenic) fungus. It occurs throughout the United States and in Quebec and Ontario. It infects about 50 species of oaks.

The mold-like, asexual stage (anamorph) of the fungus is Lalaria coccinea. In this stage, the fungus is saprobic, obtaining its nutrients from dead and decaying organic matter. It overwinters in bark crevasses and bud scales.

The sexually reproductive stage (telemorph) is Taphrina caerulescens. In this stage, it is parasitic, obtaining its nutrients from living tissue. In early spring it infects newly emerging leaves. It spreads its spores through wind and rain across the leaf surface and to other leaves. The fungus triggers an increase in the number of cells produced at the infection site. This appears as a gray, to ¾ lesion on the underside of the leaf and a raised, up to ¾ high, blister-like bulge on the upper surface. As the season progresses, the blisters may enlarge and merge, causing leaf curl and sometimes causing the leaf to drop. The damage to the tree is only cosmetic, rarely causing reduced overall growth.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (ascomycetes)

 

Subdivision:

Taphrinomycotina

 

Class:

Taphrinomycetes

 

Subclass:

Taphrinomycetidae

 

Order:

Taphrinales

 

Family:

Taphrinaceae

 
Synonyms

Ascomyces caerulescens

Ascomyces quercus

Exoascus caerulescens

Lalaria caerulescens

Lalaria coccinea

Taphrina quercus

 
Common
Names

Oak Leaf Blister

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Parasitic

Obtaining nutrients from another living organism.

 

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

 
 
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    Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)   Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)  
           
    Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)      
           

 

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