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Pine Trees - bubbling during a rainstorm

 
 
mismi
 
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 11:24 am
I just opened the front door to let Levi Kitty in and noticed something white coming down the sides of the pine trees.

It was not there yesterday and we are having a nice rain today...well torrential rains today. I have never seen it before. It is like the trees are frothing - only the pine trees though...

Anyone ever seen anything like this? Know what it is?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 13,744 • Replies: 23
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 11:48 am
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m50/misimi40/IMG_0130-1.jpg

probably going to be really large - sorry about that...
I can't find anything online about it. Bizarre
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 11:53 am
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m50/misimi40/IMG_0127-1.jpg

here's another shot.

I just wonder if it means the tree has pine beatles or something.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 11:54 am
I broke my digital camera by dropping it at the ballpark...so this is the boys digital camera...sorry it is so blurry. Really just a toy
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 11:55 am
Some sort of interaction between sap and water?

Pure guess...
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 11:57 am
Maybe so...I have just never seen it before. And it is just the two trees next to each other in the front yard...which makes me wonder if something is going on with them...ah...just curious mostly. Thanks Soz
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 11:58 am
That looks like soap suds. I think this is probably just a combination
of the rain and the natural oil of the pine, and dirt.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:00 pm
Looks like pine resin to me.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:32 pm
probably so...thanks
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:34 pm
I did a quick search and came across a few people with a similar question -- most reponses suggested some kind of infestation. (Here's an example from http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?t=578):



We have a mixture of several types of trees in our backyard, however most are pine trees. Two of the pines have a yellowish foam-like substance on the bark (dripping down trunk). Please help identify the foam and advise of any treatment we should pursue. Could it be harmful?

Regards.

John



My guess would be pine sap dripping, most likely from wounds caused by pine beetles or some other wood boring critter:alien: . If this is the case, the infested trees need to be removed immediately and the debris properly disposed of to prevent the spread of the bugs. I don't know your location, but I know that there is a bad infestation of pine beetles in the eastern and southeastern US right now.



John,
Your description of the foam sounds like a symptom of the spittlebug. It produces a foamy substance to keep itself moist and to hide from enemies. If it is borers as Brian suggested, the sap will be very sticky, whereas the foam from spittlebugs is not sticky.
Use of an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil will control spittlebugs without killing their natural predators.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:35 pm
I think it looks like the tree is having an orgasm. Of course, I could be wrong.
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:37 pm
Thanks Boomerang...the infestation thing is a small fear I have. We just took down 5 pines in the backyard - two had pine beatles. It ain't cheap to get trees cut down...makes me sick to my stomach!

maybe it's not

lovely kicky
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:39 pm
Another one:

Quote:
Who Spit on My Trees

Robert Bishop
Frederick County Master Gardener Program

If you notice numerous masses of a foamy, spit-like substance in your evergreen trees this year you are not alone. I have received well over thirty phone calls and have been brought at least seven branch samples this week exhibiting this condition. Deep inside the foam is an insect commonly called a Spittlebug or froghopper. Spittlebug is not considered a serious pest, although this year we are seeing unusually high populations.


There are several species found in Maryland. One of the most common is the pine Spittlebug. As it's name suggests is primary host is pine, but will also attack Norway, white and red spruce, Douglas and Balsam fir, larch, eastern hemlock, and Leyland cypress. Other Spittlebug species can be found on dogwood, birch, witch-hazel, cherry, redbud, alder, holly and herbaceous perennials.

Spittlebug eggs hatch in spring and the nymphs begin feeding on plant sap. As they feed, they continually excrete undigested sap (honeydew) and pump air into as it exits their bodies thus forming the foamy masses (spittle) that surround them. The nymphs are active in May and June. Adults appear in July and August and also feed on plant sap but do not produce spittle. There is only one generation per year for most species.

Damage symptoms include leaf distortion and or stunting, and in heavy infestations twig dieback. Further plant problems may occur when disease causing pathogens enter plants through the holes left from spittlebug feeding. Diplodia tip blight is an example of a disease that can infect pines through this mechanism. Control is only recommended for large infestations, apply a residual insecticide in May for best results.



http://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/articles/frederick/2001/spit_on_trees.htm
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:42 pm
Thanks again Boomerang...I will be keeping my eye out once it dries out...I can look closer to see where the bubbles are coming from.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 12:53 pm
I'd check to see if it were sticky or not like that one guy suggested. Hopefully it's just spittlebugs and they haven't done any real damage.

I too hate having to remove trees. We're going to have to take down a beautiful old birch in our backyard. It makes me cry just thinking about it.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2008 01:00 pm
If I had to cut down my Birch I would be really sad...I like my pine trees fine...but we have tons of pines and I hate to lose hardwoods...what I really hate about possibly having to have the pines taken down is the money it will cost. Razz
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jun, 2008 12:34 pm
There are no spittle bugs on the trees. They have no signs of infestation at all.

It is a mysery. I did not happen yesterday during that heavy rain though...
0 Replies
 
lazydogmot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 03:56 pm
I am in Northern California in the foothills. I just went out and touched the foam on a pine tree (with a twig) and it's like soap suds. It has no smell to it. I think it is from an insect that lives under the bark. When it rains hard they make the foam to protect their nest from the water that runs down the tree trunk.
As to what kind of bug it is or what damage it might do to the tree....don't no.
Tom
P.S. They might be taking a bubble bath.
0 Replies
 
strathmann9
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 08:56 am
I live in Michigan and have seen so much foam on the pine trees and Now I am in AR and foam on these pines to. Looks like it's killing the trees. I have never seen this before.

Valerie from Michigan
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 11:37 am
@strathmann9,
That was a while back and my pine is still green...not sure what was up with it. I do have 5 in the back yard that have pine beetles now. I am watching and waiting - have to take those things down now.

Frustrating. I hate spending money on taking down trees. Seems wrong.
0 Replies
 
 

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