Strange Things I’ve Seen – Mysterious Blue Pine Sap on Carstairs Trail‏


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.



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