oldsteve's picture

Birch stump

Observed: 4th May 2013 By: oldsteve
Birch stump
Birch stump-2
Birch stump-3

On 4th May I walked through the woods under Froggatt Edge, Derbyshire. Many birch trees had been cut, in order, I believe, to encourage the regeneration of oaks. One pair of large stumps, - the largest had a diameter of about 12 inches / 30cm - were covered in a creamy substance, mostly white, but with orange and yellow areas, that appeared to be emerging from the top of the stump and running down the sides. I have seen a lot of felled trees, but never anything like this. I guess it is the reaction of a fungus to the timber being cut, but maybe it is something else ???


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


miked's picture

Is it not just sap?

Is it not just sap?

GrizzledBadger's picture

Bacteria /fungi? working on

Bacteria /fungi? working on the sugars etc. in the sap from the severed trunk butts.


oldsteve's picture


Thanks, but there were hundreds of other stumps, none of which looked like this.


Rachy Ramone's picture

It does look like sap...

... Steve, if you check my obs:


...similar to yours but frozen, and a lot less of it!

Not all of the stumps had leaked sap in the area around my obs - some had leaked a lot, some just a little, and some not at all.

I agree that it is odd to have one stump leaking so dramatically, and the others not: maybe it was the size (you did mention that this pair were large). Possibly the larger trees were still in the active sap-rising phase, while the smaller ones were settling down to summer growth?

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:

Amadan's picture

Birch can produce amazing amounts of sap

In fact one of the "country wines" can be made from it, as it's rich in sugars.
It's not one I ever tried, but a fellow wine-maker had a go, and pronounced it "very delicate - but you couldn't say that after the second glass - your tongue didn't work any more".

davebarlo's picture

Slime Mold?

To me it looks like a slime mold species if you look on Google for images of slime molds you can find similar looking tree stumps. I wish I knew more about them as they are amazing life forms.
This is an example of another tree stump

John Bratton's picture

It is fermenting sap, so must

It is fermenting sap, so must be full of a cocktail of bacteria and fungi. It is a good beetle attractant, worth poking about in if you have a strong stomach.