Update – June 18, 2018 – RESOLVED ! Please see KHL’s comment below for an explanation to this phenomenon. Many thanks KHL.
Update – May 28, 2018 – The University of Guelph has no idea either.
Update – April 25, 2018 – I heard from a Provincial government ministry today. They explained why a blue spruce tree is blue, and suggested maybe it was by the same process. However, I’m trying to figure out why trees are oozing puddles of bright blue sap/resin/whatever, from under their bark, not why the needles of one species of pine appear kinda blue. I’ll just have to keep asking I suppose.
Update – April 21, 2018 – OK, now we have reports of the same oddity from, British Columbia, Austria, and Colorado. Last week I attended a Spring gardening show and questioned a number of professional arborists. None could shed any light on the subject, as if they’d never even heard of such a thing. But they gave me some names and contacts to try. I’ll chase up those leads and post another update when I hear back.
Update – April 1 2018 – Not sure if this is a “Nature April Fool” but, over the last few weeks, I’ve seen alot of trees on numerous other trails, exhibiting this blue sap behaviour. I’ve been wandering the bush for alot of years but don’t recall seeing this “blue bleeding” thing until I saw it at Carstairs.
UPDATE – June 20 2016 – Since the addition of interpretive signage on this trail, we now know these trees are European Larches. Still don’t know why they “bleed” blue sap though.
Back in April the wife and I were re-visiting the Carstairs trail because Peter’s Woods wasn’t open for the season yet. As we rounded the first bend in the trail, the wife spotted something extremely blue running down the side of a tamarack tree (I think).
Everyone’s seen pine sap with a pale bluish hue to it, but this was far beyond that. The following pics have not been altered, in fact the color intensity captured by the camera was less than appeared to the eye at the time, due to the angle of the sunlight.
Of course, I Googled for an explanation. The best I got was a sap-sucking fungus carried into pine trees by a beetle with a decidedly far Western name, which stains freshcut wood with a pale blue tinge. But this was a seriously bright blue ooze that had even puddled on the ground at the base of the trunk. So, I printed out those pics, and took them to the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority.
I started getting excited when no one could figure out what it was. Excited and concerned because as much as I love a poser, I hoped we hadn’t found something problematic. The GRCA’s Forester was attending an off-site meeting, so I left the pics there with my Home phone number. By the time I got Home the wife, met me at the door with the news that the GRCA Forester had no idea what it was either.
So, since the GRCA couldn’t explain it, I contacted the ROM (always very helpful in the past as well). That was a month ago, and after a coupla e-mails back and forth, no one has come up with an explanation. So, I guess this is a mystery to be pondered at length.
If anyone reading this has similar observations or can offer an explanation, please let me know. Thanks.