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Author Topic: Foaming trees  (Read 11472 times)

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Offline Sawyerfortyish

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Foaming trees
« on: April 28, 2008, 08:57:44 PM »
What makes a tree foam up when it rains. What I mean you can see the rain water running down a tree and on some trees there will be a stream and big puddle of foam at the bottom. It's very noticable on black birch. I never thought much of it til my wife asked me about it today.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 09:02:03 PM »
probably sap run relatated.
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Online LeeB

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 09:04:30 PM »
Maybe it make a more rabid decent down the trunk of some than others.
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Offline bigtreesinwa

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 02:18:23 PM »
I really laughed when I read your post. Tree foam?

Then I remember wondering something very similiar when I was a kid. I'd be hiking up in the high mountains and see foam on a small pool in a creek or on a lake somewhere. I suppose the same mechanism that causes tree foam also causes lake foam.

Now, I'm talking the high mountain of Montana where there's no one around, so it's not human caused.

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 02:28:15 PM »
I've heard that foam on choppy water is caused by protein.

I'm just saying this next part cuz it jumped into my head just now, I don't have any idea really, but I was watching one of those survival shows the other day, and Bear was saying that birch bark makes excellent tinder because of all the natural oils in it.  Maybe that has something to do with it  :-\

Offline Tom

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 03:26:17 PM »
Phosphates.  It is what is blamed for seafoam and foam in rivers that flow through forests with heavy accumulations of rotting leaves.   It might be washed from a living tree.

Then it might be caused by an insect too.  There are insects that cover themselves with foam for protection. Rain might wash this to the ground.  See spittle bug. :D
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 05:43:31 PM »
sea foam  Check out the second question.  Not that this answers the foamy tree question...

Just a quick Google search.  Tree foam




Offline Sparty

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 10:38:00 PM »
Maybe it make a more rabid decent down the trunk of some than others.

Are you saying that the trees have rabies and that they are foaming at the mouth (roots). :D

Offline HOOF-ER

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008, 10:47:51 PM »
some proteins form foam. Fire departments use foam and one of them is protein based. Protein is based off nitrogen in the plant. Don't know about your tree. This is my best guess.
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Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 02:34:27 PM »
Does the foam sorta resemble this?  This is the slime flux referenced by ohsoloco on a white oak.




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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 02:37:46 PM »
Would that be similar to what I see happen to cherry logs?  In the past I've picked up some cherry from tree services, and after sitting for a little while the logs form a jelly-like substance on the ends.  It appears to be coming from the cambium layer...or at least in that area.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 02:44:06 PM »
On the cherry it is injury induced and they don't actually have resin canals like a spruce or pine.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 02:57:18 PM »
Not sure who mentioned anything about resin canals, but SD is right - the jelly-like substance you find on black cherries is sap that is released in response to injury.  It helps prevent insect infestation.

The slime flux shown in the pictures is a bubbling foam caused by bacterial infection of the heartwood. 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 03:02:21 PM »
Just me drawing comparisons. There are in fact some hardwoods with resin canals but not commercial in US and Canada.

Examples: Philippine Mahogany (Not found in American and African Mahogany), and Shorea spp

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2018, 05:15:16 PM »
I have seen a lot of foam at the base of yellow birch this spring, after leaf out. I just equate it to whatever is in the bark as the water runs down and changes in surface tension when air is mixed in. Like blowing bubbles with soap. :)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2018, 09:49:44 PM »
Is yellow birch prone to flats too?

;D
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Offline coxy

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Re: Foaming trees
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2018, 05:01:49 PM »
they are bad don't ever put one on your truck  ;D


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