Fuzzy orange galls on leaf

Q: I took these photos in Blairsville. In my 69 years I have never seen this on a leaf.

A: It’s a group of woolly leaf galls. A tiny wasp laid eggs on the leaves a few weeks ago. The eggs hatched into larvae and the larvae secreted hormones that caused the leaf tissue to grow into these fuzzy structures. Eventually they fall to the ground. The larva remains inside, protected from predators. When it matures into an adult, it will emerge and find a leaf to start the process again.

Similar galls are found on oak trees but yours doesn’t look like an oak to me.

Fuzzy galls