Sunday, May 23, 2010

unknown thingamajigger ~ 05/23/10 ~ Jacks Peak


unknown thingamajigger

Doesn't it look like a wad of cinnamon chewing gum? But, no, it's a hole in a tree root in the middle of the path! I'm guessing it's the opening to a hymenopteran (bees & wasps) nest, but I really have no idea. Do you know?

8 comments:

biobabbler said...

From this view it actually looks like sap trying to heal the root wound, but it could also be fungus. Honestly, I don't know, but it does look like goo I've seen trees pump out when they're wounded.

Janet said...

I agree - if it were on an intact surface, I'd suspect fungus or mold of some type, but given there it is surrounding an opening in the plant tissue, I'm guessing the plant is producing it. We have some mature Monterey pines that are always stressed because they should never have been planted here, and they ooze weird stuff like that all the time.

John W. Wall said...

Curious formation! We need more data! :)

Nature ID said...

Thanks all!

Steve Willson said...

I've read of woodpeckers that make nest cavities in pines and then use the sap to form a protective barrier around the entrance. It isn't much of a stretch to imagine insects doing the same thing. Or it could be a Rip Van Winkle elephant that laid down for a nap and is now grown into the tree with only the tip of the trunk left showing.

Nature ID said...

Thank you so much, Steve. I like your RVW reference to a sleeping elephant trunk.

Ted C. MacRae said...

I suspect it is an exit hole for a wood boring insect larva that pushes frass out of the gallery - the wad is probably sap from the tree trying to seal the wound, but the insect keeps the hole open in the middle so it just keeps building up.

Either that, or you've discovered a crayfish that nests in tree roots instead of mud :)

Nature ID said...

Good eye, Ted. We noticed the little pile of lighter colored stuff below the hole, too. Do you think it might be a beetle grub? I should have taken note of the type of tree, and Monterey pine, like Janet mentioned, may be likely.