8 October 2011
October is a good time of year to see wood glow in the dark. The phenomenon is called foxfire and is most often caused by the honey mushroom (Armillaria mellea), native to eastern North America.
Armillaria mellea feeds primarily on hardwood and is most often noticed when it produces fruit –> honey mushrooms. The mushrooms are like the apples on a tree. There’s a big plant structure that produces the fruit, but in the case of Armillaria you can’t see the “plant” until it glows.
The glowing comes from its rhizomorphs that look like long, black bootlaces and grow under the bark of dead trees, downed logs, old roots and stumps. They also grow on living trees which they eventually kill.
The faster they grow, the more they glow because their feeding process produces light. Their bioluminescence is a chemical reaction that’s the opposite of photosynthesis. The tree they’re consuming used CO2 + light to produce organic (carbon-based) material + oxygen. The fungi use luciferin molecules to combine organic material + oxygen to produce CO2 + light. Pretty ingenious, eh?
Finding foxfire is problematic, especially for city folks like me. The light produced is a faint green or blue glow that’s easily swamped by man-made light.
The habitat and weather must cooperate too. The infected wood has to be damp — not too wet, never dry — and the best temperature is 77oF though anything above freezing is acceptable. Summer heat (86oF+) shuts down bioluminescence which makes autumn, with its early sunsets and cooler temperatures, an optimal time to see it.
I’ve never seen foxfire but that’s no surprise. I’d have to drive to a very dark place (how far?) and wander in the woods at night looking for a faint glow, hoping I don’t encounter a mammal I don’t want to meet. Spooky!
Have you seen foxfire? Where?
(photo of foxfire in Allegany State Park, New York by highlatitude on Flikr, Creative Commons license. Click on the photo to see the original)
227 thoughts on “Glow in the Dark”
I’ve never seen it, and I’ve lived in the woods all my life. Many times I’ve been out at night (no city lights) and haven’t seen it. Can’t wait to hear where a good place to see this around here is.
Just last night my brother found some of this on a piece of oak log. It was odd to see.
Our tree, next to our driveway, in northern New York has been emitting these strange and beautiful lights for days now. It’s actually quite remarkable.
Its in my back yard the whole top of the tree pretty cool thought it was stars at first
I have glowing fir trees in my back yard right now in Canby Oregon!
I saw a glow on a limb 25 – 30 feet in an Oak tree this morning when I was leaving for work. I’ve never saw it before . I told my wife and she thought I was crazy until I looked this up.
In my front yard. Im seeing this right now..
My wife and I saw it last night and could not figure out what it was. It is in a mesquite tree near the top. At first we thought it was a glow stick but after looking through binoculars it looked like the branches were glowing. This is in Green Valley, Az.
Bainbridge Island, WA on a big leaf maple tree. Beautiful.
Glowing all over the trees in my backyard, astonishing! Raleigh, NC.
You can see it at Holiday Travel Park, Mack Smith Rd, Rossville Ga.
I witnessed foxfire in two trees , a birch and a Monterey pine. It was spooky.
I live in a residential area in Alameda county, Hayward. 27 years
I have seen it at my ex step dads farm. About 30mins north east of Athens, it’s almost in a town called Chester hill. I camping with my bf at the time and his friend. My mother was hanging out by the fire with me and the guys having a nice spring break and the guys had been cutting up wood for the fire. I was just sitting there and there it was.. It caught my eyes but I did not want to believe that I’m seeu 2nd what I am. I pick up some of the pieces and show everybody we all have no clue why the wood is glowing so I go down to the house and talk to my step dad and he comes up and says oh yeah there’s trees all around here that glow up and down and apparently we just found one
i have it in my back yard on and old apple tree when it rains the travel up and down and in spots Boston mass Hyde park ma
It’s in all my trees in ours and neighbor s yards. They look like tiny green and a few red lights. Almost like Christmas lights. I saw them last year and was told by my husband they’re just stars. I knew they weren’t. Just came back again in Pensacola Florida because the temperature dropped.
It’s actually really pretty
We have them here in Johnson City TN. Was looking it up & seen this site.
I JUST SAW IT last night!! Christmas Eve! Wilmington, NC. All in our tall pine trees. Amazing! I thought I was seeing things!
I just noticed it in the middle of winter. It is glowing right now in -5 celsius. Many green spots and some red. I found this thread by lookup up the cause of this unusual phenomenon. I’m in South Ontario Canada. Spots seem to be moving. I don’t see the red one I saw yesterday.
Just discovered Foxfire in my own wooded backyard while camping with my son. Hudson Valley NY. We dowsed the fire killed the lights getting ready to turn in and I see a greenish glow out in the woods. Then I see spots of it in different places. Really cool
Alabama. Cut down old stumps and back yard was glowing…we did not have any lights in our 10 acre woods but it lite up big time…
Me and my buddy just found some on an apple tree soon after it rained here on one of the islands of lake moomaw. VA.
I’ve seen it for the first time this year in my backyard. I have for pine trees. Is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen I am 55 years of age
It’s on the top branches of maple trees in my front yard in Stoney Creek, ON. Temperature tonight is about 40 F.
Everyone around me in October a few years back didnt believe me when I saw this at the TOP of trees everywhere…they assumed it was halloween decorations.but it was everywhere so I knew better.it was very odd.
I’ve seen it in Forest in Connecticut encompassing 26,477 acres, in 6 towns — Voluntown, Sterling, Plainfield, Griswold, North Stonington, and Preston. There are two areas, the Chapman Area and the Green Falls Area way back in the 1980s while camping with a bunch of friends .. Didn’t have cell phones to look it up back in those days.. Just was telling someone about this and looked it up to see what it could have been .
I have a tree in my yard I just saw it on last night
I saw it tonight after a day of clearing brush. I live in N.C.
I found some in the Adirondacks
Well, I’ve got it in my yard in Arlington TX on only one oak tree. With this being Christmas time I actually thought some lights had been strung but of course there were no wires running to the tree. Quite beautiful but a little eery to see natural Xmas light ornaments!! Unbelievable!!! Can’t wait til tonight to see if they’re on again!!
I’ve seen it. Santa Cruz Mtns above Boulder Creek, in the SLV. Same scenario, rotten wood. It looked as if a full moon was shining on it, except, there was no moon. Probably wouldn’t have noticed, except for that.
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Sir, over here @1513 eastshore drive, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota (behind our residence at approx 9:45pm) there are all these tall trees and are lit up with thousands of firefly like lights and some are even moving up & down trunks of some of the lower to ground smaller trees and they’re moving at enormous speeds, too! And yes, even some nights that it was well below zero temps..these same amazing little lights just glowing & seemingly responding to other lights around. I would point my powerful flashlight at them and they would respond by really activating more quickly flashes whenever i did that.
ANSWER: Foxfire does not move but you can make it appear to move by using a flashlight. See reply below.
Foxfire does not move. However if you use a flashlight to view it, your handheld light will blot out foxfire’s blue-green and show the daytime color of the tree which can be red/brown. The faster you move the flashlight the faster the colors will appear to move. Here’s what is it looks like if you wave your flashlight around on the same spot: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PanellusStipticusAug12_2009_Animated.gif
Yes my husband and I have in our woods he just happened to cut up a tree that had fallen we live in Marshall Mich
We found some for the first time last night. We live just outside of East Greenville PA. We were able to find more in the woods by walking deep into the woods turning off our flashlights and letting our eyes adjust. It reminded me of the forest in the movie pandora with the blue people
I live in Rehoboth Beach Delaware in a maple tree next-door glows green at night. Very unusual and pretty.
I just found some accidentally , I was cutting wood cookies for my wife brought a piece in to show her it was left on the desk overnight and when I woke the next morning I looked at it and it was glowing beautiful rings
I have it in my trees toms river nj
My boyfriend found some in our side yard in our woods.
We saw some in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA
It is here in Hickory, NC
I’ve seen it twice in my life . Once about thirty years ago in the woods at our house, then the other night our dog brought a piece onto our patio.
Its here in saratoga springs NY
I always wondered how they got the name of the “Foxfire” books of the 60’s/70’s (right date?). Now, I know.
I’ve seen Jack-o-lantern mushrooms at Todd Sanctuary, but never foxfire. The mushrooms are a rather startling sight when you come upon them unexpectedly!
Do you happen to know why on earth a fungus would want to waste carbohydrates (or other organic molecules) on emitting light? Typically its more efficient to convert them into more useful forms of energy, such as chemical energy in the form of ATP that can be used to perform the necessary reactions for life. I can’t imagine what evolutionary advantage it would give the mushroom to glow in the dark (probably due to my lack of imagination).
Seems it’s not a waste to the fungus because gets its energy using this chemical reaction: the more it grows the more it glows. It’s ingenious that one chemical reaction (bioluminescence) is the opposite of another (photosynthesis). Nothing is lost.
Perhaps I’m just misunderstanding, but I can’t see how using useful energy like carbs to make useless energy like light is anything but wasteful. Also, I don’t see why an organism would evolve something like bio-luminescence if it didn’t give it an evolutionary advantage. Just saying. . .
My belief is that it was created that way because something probably eats it at night and that’s how it is found. The other thought I have is that it’s a communication process. Because there are so many now on my tree they light up above each other and it looks like movement in the trees very rapidly so I am thinking there must be some kind of communication with the illumination
i have seen foxfire in eastern tn.
Sorry to “reactivate” an older conversation; I have been ~8 months away from Kate’s blog, but would like to weigh in on this one.
I think that when the organic matter (i.e. mostly cellulose or complex sugars) is broken down by the fungus, a photon is naturally emitted as a part of the process. It is useless to the fungus, but it is not deliberate “waste”. The energies made available from a chemical reaction are a function of the bonds that are broken. Some higher energies cannot be captured, and are lost as a photon (or as a low level of heat).
It is mistaken to think that every extant biological trait exists because it confers an advantage. Some characteristics persist simply because: (1) they were created ‘randomly’, as all traits are, AND (2) the trait confers no DISadvantage.
The light emission occurs because chemical reactions are occurring. The fungus is using what chemical energy it is able to use easily and/or efficiently. The light probably confers no advantage. The light also probably confers no disadvantage.
Amillaria mellea is a wonderful edible mushroom (to be eaten with extreme caution!!). If the woods were full of people (or light-sensitive animals) looking for them, only the least light-emitting specimens would survive. Either the light emitting trait would diminish/disappear, or the mushroom might.
Hi All. I found this discussion while researching the science specifics of “Foxfire” for my friends and thought I would share my experience with Foxfire. We spotted some last night while horseback riding at Lord Stirling Stables in Somerset County N.J. It was dark and very foggy – about 98% humidity and 71 degrees F. We were on wooded riding trails near the Great Swamp Refuge. This is not the first time I have seen Foxfire on these paths. Back in July it was even more obvious. The type here looks like glowing embers under the leaves or fallen tree trunks. I even had it “displaying” along my driveway at home (NJ) in July which was a surprise. I hadn’t picked up old leaves and dead tree bark under my forsythia bushes, giving it an ideal environment , I suppose. It was very humid and warm. It cannot usually be seen there. The conditions have to be just right.
I have seen foxfire in Western Washington state. I was 8 years old and we were leaving my cub scout camp. I looked up the trail and saw an entire stump glowing in the dark. At first I thought I was seeing things, but as we got closer I realized that it was a glowing stump. I broke off a piece of the stump and took it home. It stopped glowing once the wood dried out.
I live in Missouri and we saw some last night. We had the coon dogs out and while stopping to listen to them bark to see where they were, we noticed a glowing on a log by us. I picked some to get a better look at it at home under the light.
It looks like a small mushroom you might see anywhere in the woods. The next day there wasn’t any glow left. I heard older folks talk about it and
they said it was rare to see it. The temperature was about 70 degrees that night.
I have seen it once before about 6 or 7 years before around the same area. Conditions must be just right for it to grow here.
I also live in Missouri. 25 years ago I bought 10 acres of heavily wooded property. My sister, her husband & my husband had been cutting & clearing out some areas and when it got dark all of the stumps that were left & the stacks of wood we had piled were all glowing a bright luminescent green. We had never seen anything like it and haven’t ever seen it again since that night. It was really pretty awesome. We had no idea what it was at the time until my dad told us the next day. Then we really didn’t know what caused it. My dad said he thought it was dead wood. My property consists of mainly oak & hickory trees.
Thank you for this description and introducing me to the term “foxfire”. I saw this phenomenon about 15 years ago and had no idea what it was. As far as we could tell it was just a piece of bark that could glow in the dark. When looking at the bark under the light, we could see nothing remarkable about it. There was no visible trace to where the glowing material was.
I always guessed that it was some sort of fungus but could never figure out what kind. I even asked people who I believed to be experts and they had no clue. I’ve often gone back to the same area to try to find more but never saw it except for that one year. I think I might have to go back and check again. But yes it doesn’t glow very bright so if you’re hiking at night with a flashlight, you probably won’t see it. It was one of our favourite past times at the time to do “night hikes”; hiking on trails far away from the city lights without the aid of flashlights. This is probably why we were able to find it.
woke up last night at our campsite on the little emory river in tennessee and was amazed to see an entire two ricks of stacked hardwood fire wood glowing with bio luminescence. It was eerie, beautiful and sorta made me feel bad to add more of the wood to the fire. What a beautiful site though!
We were camping last night and woke up before sunrise to find wood chips glowing. We had created the chips the previous night in the process of cutting firewood. Neither of us had seen it before. The conditions must have been just right, cool & humid but not raining. It looked magical because it was sprinkled all over the ground.
I forgot to mention that we were camping by a lake in central Illinois.
Just seen this phenomenon 2 days ago, very weird camping in a field in Devon owned by friends who cut up a fallen tree for the fire. All the wood glowed including the chips on the ground! Never seen anything like it, totally amazing experience.
Last night at our camp site in Ohiopyle State Park (Pennsylvania) my husband and I witnessed this for the first time ever. I must say it was pretty amazing!
Just experienced this for the first time tonight sept.5 2015. I have worked for the forest service in many ways and spent many nights in the mountains without ever setting anything like this. Im in western mass breaking trees up for a fire and get very spooked by this phenomenon. Excitedbut
It’s Sept. 21st 2014. My husband and I are camping in Willamette National Park at a place called McKenzie Bridge campground. We split some wood earlier in the day from a short log left behind from a previously cut downed tree. As we collecting our fire wood up for our next stay and because we thought it was getting ready to rain. My Husband started picking up the cut pieces,we noticed something glowing on some of them. First reaction was to check it out in the bright light. We seen nothing but a nice piece of hard wood so we placed in our black trash bag to our surprise you could see it glowing even brighter through the black trash bag. Once again Nature has another beautiful surprise to show off. The last time we seen something similar was in the Ocean while sailing in the night. I felt so fortunate to be able to witness it first hand with my hubby. Definitely a night to remember. Thanks so much for the explanation. So very cool:)
B & B Tackett
Tonight was the first time I’ve seen fox fire. I live in Mississippi and I just got done splitting some fire wood from a tree that’s been dead for little over a year. It’s cool to walk outside to see my wood pile glowing.
My husband and I have noticed patches of bioluminescence in 3 or 4 trees in our yard this fall. It’s certainly interesting, but I’m wondering if it’s indicates a problem. We first saw it in one tree, now it seems to be showing up in small patches in other trees – up in the branches. Does anyone know if something harmful is happening to the trees? Thanks!
Got foxfire in my oak tree too and can’t seem to find a cure – all anybody talks about is trying to find it to look at it. Anyone know a cure for my tree?
M. Heilman, the glowing is caused by Armillaria, a fungus that feeds on the heartwood. Eventually the fungus weakens the tree and causes it to break and fall over. If you want to preserve the trees, have an arborist look at them.
I encountered some foxfire wood last night its amazing. Im in washing state. We were burning brush at night and came across a whole pile of it Last night.
I just arrived home, at 11:30 pm, after having seen my first foxfire phenomenon. I had never even HEARD of this fungi before…and knowing that it was a “natural phenomenon” I was about to see, I had no idea how “other worldly” it would eventually seem to be.
It was not only luminescent….glowing on it’s own through the above mentioned chemical reactions….it was, as one fellow mentioned….actually emitting light….as though it had an energy unlike ANY fungus, plant or non animal living thing I’ve ever known.
When I googled foxfire, prior to my ride getting here, for me to see the actual THING….they showed an actual mushroom, that was a fluorescent looking “apple green”.
I had no idea what a treat I was in for. I was lucky enough to get a 2″ slice of one of the trees….and I keep on misting it….keeping it wet….but I would GREATLY APPRECIATE if anyone could tell me the BEST way to keep this thing glowing….and these fungi alive.
I mean, they live off of dead things, so it’s all very illuminating…..on SO many levels. Thank you, those who have bothered to read this….and ANYONE who might be able to answer my question in a timely manner (or not….)…..thank you, sincerely….
Claudia, I’m not sure how to keep the foxfire in glowing condition though it may survive anyway in a dormant condition.
When I was in the Boy Scouts in the early 1970’s we would go camping once a month and for 2 weeks we had summer camp. I saw the glowing on stumps and on dead trees quite a few times. Most of the camping we did was at Camp Glen Gray in Mahwah NJ near the NY state line. All of our camping trips were in NJ or NY state. I remember kicking apart rotten wood or using an ax to chop weed that would glow. The glowing of the chips created would subside over the course of a few days. Come to think of it, the times we would find the glowing wood would be during summer camp or late spring or early fall trips.
My grandson found this tonight by a pond in our back farm~lewisburg, ky! I looked it up and this is where I got~but it’s the first time I ever seen it in my life~beautiful!
Where: Adirondack Mountains, Fort Ann, New York, USA
When: Early 1980s
What: Green glowing forest: there were no visible mushrooms, and the fungus could not be seen by the naked eye, except when it was glowing. I kept a piece of wood from the forest floor, but my mother threw it out.
Me and my kids have just found fox fire behind our house in Mississippi. There was a lot of it and it was green.
I’ve seen it just this weekend! It was in a damp section in the red river gorge in Kentucky. Was seriously one of the coolest things I have seen!
Black River Falls Wisconsin. Wow, this is amazing! Never see anything like this before. Lot’s of it. Thought I had krytonite, but after I smell it, NOT…it’s just a mushroom or fungi.
I have, twice in 1 summer. On trails in a NJ bedroom community. Once because an animal dug holes in a stump along a trail and the other time where a rotten tree fell over and the inside of the stump and log where it met the stump glowed. This was again by surprise in a bedroom community in NJ. So it can be seen (on clear nights with no cloud cover) in otherwise what might be considered bright places. Thanks for the info!
Saw foxfire this past weekend in cosby campground in the great smoky mountain national forest. It was growing on a downed log right outside my tent. Of course I had no idea what it was at the time. I literally thought some irresponsible camper must have burst a glow stick. When it was back the next night I realized nothing man made glows that long. It was absolutely amazing. I thought I was in the movie Avatar. Haha. Anyway, thanks for clearing up my questions.
Tionesta PA – chopped wood for campfire – downed a dead pine tree – that night the whole pile of stacked fresh cut wood was glowing and often it had permeated under the bark and was on the inside of the wood. It was amazing and bright. You could not see any fungi or growth under bright light- looked like a fresh cut log but in the dark there were glowing streaks all over the logs and the wood chips all over the ground where we chopped the wood. Amazing!
i did!! Last night IN MY LIVING ROOM,!!!
Just cut wood for the stove laying in the living room floor. 3:10 am and I was about to throw more wood on the fire and noticed light.
I looked and several pieces I had just brought in were GLOWING! I pulled the bark off and it was amazing. I went straight to the computer and saw your post.
I am in Chugiak, Alaska….. Right outside of Anchorage.
Thanks for the info! I will bring in more tonight and if I see it again, I will see about snapping a picture.
My husband told me about this “glow in the dark wood” YEARS ago, brought it home with him, at dark that night it didn’t glow… I thought he was either nuts or pulling my leg… Low & behold we are camping outside the city limits in Charleston, WV tonight and THERE IT WAS!!! I am like a kid on a scavenger hunt now LoL… Ps: we live here in WV as well…
We saw foxfire last night, 2:35 a.m., (Sept. 29, 2015) when a dead tree fell over after an all-day rain, in our woods north of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. It glowed bright white in the interior of the tree where it broke off, and in the root remaining in the ground. Tonight we revisited it; it’s still glowing, but appears to have spread slightly and glows less intensely; it’s more like a light from within. We see evidence of whitish threads on the wood that glows.
Saw some here tonight in Peace River, Alberta. At first I thought somebody put their Christmas lights up early. But it was the wood of a tree on its last legs. Mostly blue glow but some red too. This was tree in my back ally. Quite bazaar. Never saw this before. Thanks for the info.
I have foxfire in my yard 2 faint green masses in the tree next to my house in my neighbors yard. I live in North Carolina
I know this is an old thread but I believe there is foxfire in the trees behind my house. It looks like small, glowing green orbs. I tried to take a picture with my phone but they didn’t come out great.
Sorry. Forgot to say that I live on Long Island, NY. Patchogue.
I’m on Long Island and for the last few nights I’ve been seeing these flitting fluorescent green orbs or specks in the oak tree top. It’s the 2nd week of December and the leaves are gone but, if it was summer, I’d say they were small fireflies. But this is not fox fire as it’s been described here. What I’m seeing is not on the wood; it’s in the air flitting around the branches.
Yes, we have just cut down an old apple tree that was rotting. Half of it fell down, so my husband cut the rest of it down. Last night, we saw the firewood on our hearth glowing. We had never heard or seen of it before. That is why I was researching it and found your blog. Our wood seemed to have a yellowish /green glow. This tree had a big pile of fungi growing at the foot of it around the trunk. The funny thing is that this year, this apple tree had a huge harvest of apples and they were the best we ever tasted from it. Then part of it fell over and it was all rotted, it was very old, and even the roots were rotted.
We are in the state forest near Oxford, NY.
I’ve seen foxfire in several trees along my driveway the last two nights. There is a nearly full moon and the temperature is below freezing. This is Maine in November. Most is bluish, but there are a few glowing red.
Seen this Foxfire the other day,,I was going out to a treestand early in the morning,,a very moon light night,,there were glowing green “lights” looking like LED’s on the ground for 50 yds along the woods ground,,never seen this before,,thanks all for the information on the subject !
okay, i saw this tonight. it looks like 3 beads of neon green all over the branches and trunk of two trees out back past my yard in woods. at first i thought it was stars peeking through but they were too close. the neighbor just lit their christmas lights tonight for the first time this year and i thought it was a reflection of that. but it’s neither. it’s so cool looking but i can’t get a picture of it because i can’t figure out how to take a picture in the complete dark. it’s definitely attached to the trees and glowing really bright neon green. its like nature providing me a christmas tree cause i’m not putting one up again this year, the kids are all grown and gone . . .
We live in Farmingville NY and have been seeing small green globes in the trees at night for the past four days. Never have noticed them before and we’ve lived here almost 40 years. Really exciting to see! Wish we could get a picture!
Omg..i live on long island…very close to Patchogue … and noticed green glowing globs on some tall trees in my yard. Tried to take a pic but it didnt come out good enough. I thought i was going crazy! I googled it and was glad i found ur posts. Thanks!! Very pretty!
We live in southern Mississippi. Today we cleared some wooded land and as I went back this evening to look at the success I noticed something that looked like green coals lying around in one area. I just thought I was see a reflection or something but it was bright enough I looked the second time. It was obviously foxfire, it was very impressive to see something that has to have everything just right for it to come about. 70 degrees and a little damp. Thanks for the info
We live in Ronkonkoma and have also seen at least 5 glowing branches up in the trees tonight. Also tried to take pics but can’t see them ….very strange…..
I just came across this posts.
The pine trees in my yard have some blue “lights” in them. I was wondering what that was.
I’d seen bioluminescence in water when I was in the navy. But this is the first time I’d seen it elsewhere. (At least I hope that’s what I’m looking at.
FYI the current conditions: It rained a few days ago and the temperature is in the low 40s. So this sounds like what’d happening in my trees.
Omg,I was googling just now what this was and was lead here as well. My fiancè was taking our puppy to podi last night and 3 trees in the front/side of our yard were glowing in several (ALOT) on the branches. Nost were neon green glows but we spotted some that were glowing red as well…. We were a little creeped out as we werent sure what this was. I will b happy to inform him today I have fig’d out what this is and what causes it. But most say it happens in warm weather and it is by far warm here in Knob Noster, MO…. It was high 30°’s here and was 9:00pm at night…. Was the craziest but coolest thing we have ever seen as well 😉
Just lost a quadcopter in my pine tree trying to figure out what the stang green and red dots were. Should have checked this out first but having never seen nor hear of such phenomenon I decided to investigate… now to get my quadcopter back from ~50ft.
Just saw this for the first time in south-central Montana. My husband was taking the trash out and thought the stars were shining really brightly between the bare tree branches of the neighbor’s giant elm tree across the alley. As he got closer, he realized there were little blue lights – and a few red lights – at the very tips of some branches. Then he noticed it on two other trees in two other back yards. They look a little like tiny Christmas lights but are just at the very top of the trees and way out on the tips. Shining a flashlight on them washes them out. We found this website when we searched for a possible cause. We had never heard of this before. Thanks to everyone for sharing!
Here in Southern Oregon…we stepped out on the deck over the River and saw what looked like bright blue stars with a few deep red ones peeping through our huge madrone tree. It’s about 27 degrees, not raining, its foggy and deck is a bit iced, with NO stars out anywhere. They have been shining, not flashing. There is no green and the blue and red are as bright as xmas lights, but larger…like stars. Can this be fox fire?
Sha, it could a fungus that glows like foxfire but in a different color.
Tonight was the second time that I noticed patches of glowing green in some tall old trees in my backyard. The larger patch looked like it fluttered. I’m in northern Illinois and it is 34 degrees with 76% humidity. The glowing spots were in different trees than tonight. I’m sure glad that there is a reasonable explanation.
A tree in my yard glows with foxfire. It is beautiful!
Yep! It’s a real thing…just saw it this evening on one of our trees. Glowing was red and green..kinda cool, but a drag to know that our tree may not survive. Thanks for the information!
Everyone, thank you for sharing your experiences! We are looking at foxfire tonight, in Wake Forest, NC. We had no idea how the hundreds of green (and a few red) lights made their way into a naturally forested area behind a neighbor’s house…some of the lights glowed from the tops of 50-plus feet trees, as well as all points in-between and on the ground. We managed to get some pictures by leaving the shutter open for several seconds at a time. The lights do not flicker or change intensity, and have remained unchanged for almost an hour. I went online to see if any info was available and found this website. Thank you for helping us figure out that what we are seeing is foxfire!
Follow-up note: over 6 hours later and the foxfire lights are still visible. It’s beginning to get light (dawn), so some of the lights near the treetops are fading from view.
Final follow-up note:
False alarm everyone…our neighbor has a new lighting product that projects many small green lights into buildings, trees, forests, etc. He has several of these, thus the widespread swath of lights that we observed. So, we did NOT see foxfire – we saw new technology holiday lighting. Pretty, and disappointing, at the same time.
I live in a suburban neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama. I woke up at 4am this morning and went out in my backyard to look at the stars. It was a beautiful, clear night, lots of stars. Then I noticed some of the “stars” I was seeing were high up in a pine tree. I got my binoculars and saw that they were oddly shaped and glowing green. I had seen “glow worms” before, and foxfire on the ground. But this is December, with temps in the 30s, and these were high up in a tree. I guess my pine tree might be in trouble, but it is a fascinating sight to behold on a cold winter Thanks for solving the mystery.
I live in MN and saw it high up in two trees on an dark early morning walk with my dog. My experience was the same as thinking I was looking at stars. Since it is Christmas time, I was trying to figure out if they could have been some subtle Christmas decoration but then couldn’t fathom how they would have gotten it up there and spread out (foam gun? spray gun, droplet spray….). And then I though maybe it was some weird thing that a bird had eaten and pooped out. However it had happened, it was really magical. I am glad I found this website and now know it is foxfire. I no longer have to figure the logistics if they had been Christmas decorations. 🙂
I’m so glad that other people are seeing this too! We have been watching this stuff now for 3 nights. It’s warm and humid here in Virginia for December. I guess that’s what is bringing it out. It is on several trees, oaks and pines. All are at least 30 feet up and mostly on the tips of branches. One big patch is on the trunk of a pine tree.
The big patch when watched through binoculars does turn itself on and off. And the glow can be very bright like a glow stick. It is beautiful but darned freaky looking. I wish we could get a video of it or at least a few pictures, but it won’t show up on our cameras.
Strange that we are all seeing it at about the same time in December isn’t it?
I live in Falmouth ma. My branches and trunks are glowing in spots right now. My wife said the other night there was a bowling bowl sized red spot glowing. I heard its a fungus nicknamed foxfire. I have been here for 8 years and have never seen this!
More importantly is there a treatment for foxfire or will all my trees eventually succumb to this and if so how long will it take?
Jason, foxfire appears after the fungus has already grown inside the tree. Check with an arborist to find out if it can be saved.
Hi I live in Clinton Mississippi, a small town outside of Jackson. I moved here for work about year and half ago. About 3 weeks ago I went outside on my back patio to BBQ some chicken one night. I looked up and there was green like glow sticks up high in this large old tree. Like 2 to 3 stories up there. I thought I was crazy or seeing things.
I had no inclination of what this could be. I have never heard of this phenomenon or anyone I have asked heard or saw anything like this. I assumed maybe a squirrel found a kids glow stick and thought it was cool took up the tree? It has never been there before and none of the other trees around it has it. I have watched it every night. The green glowing spots move around, some nights in places the next night different places will glow. Sometimes they do seem to flicker at least some of them. The largest seems about like grapefruit in size from the ground, maybe a little larger. Other spots seem more like lines or smaller areas, some even being tips of end tiny branches. Its hard to tell from the ground. Some will glow really bright others medium to faint. At first it spooked me but after finding out what this is I feel like its now my special tree. I tell everyone and they look at me like I’m nuts. How common is this? No one Iver told has heard of this or seen it. I feel quite lucky we get to see such a thing. BTW we think it is some kind of old oak tree. Being from AZ I don’t know many trees here. Besides how common is this another question would be how long will it last? What kills it or makes it go away? Will it spread over the whole tree eventually?
Another comment, Yes I cannot seem to get it on pictures like the others said. I have tried every camera I have and it doesn’t show up. Wish I could!
In Colorado – 12/21/2015 …. warm day, super cold night….. super green, started fading, took my kids and went back and reddish pink started to appear in one spot – a few hours later after my bf got off of work I tried to show him, but it had disappeared as colder, below freezing weather set in
We seen red, and green glowing areas all over our neighbors, and our trees, in MICHIGAN. Weird.
We saw what we assume is this, but it was high up on the small branches of a living tree. Is that the same stuff?
Christopher, it might be. The glow is from fungi and a variety of them can grow at any level.
A few days ago I noticed this strange phenomenon in both of my pear trees! At first I thought some critters had crawled up the tree and we’re looking at me with their eyes glowing green! Kind of creeped me out! I walked with flashlight and my iPhone to see what was in the trees. It glowed from within the tree with no light shining on it! The green glow was scattered about both trees! The temp has been extremely warm, hovering around 70 to 80 and very wet for a few weeks. I took pictures with my iPhone and it really shows in the photos! Glad to know what I am seeing, but not happy that I could loose my two pear trees!
Than you, Kate St. John and Pamela, for sharing your knowledge and similar experiences. I guess it is pretty safe to assume that this is some sort of bioluminescent fungus rather than some X-Files-like phenomenon 🙂
I was so pleased to have found this site. I am in Australia, 80 kms SW of Sydney CBD in a rural area. We have a long stand of old pine trees along our front boundary.
My husband returned from work 2 nights ago at around 11pm and noticed numerous green glowing patches over the bark of one of the trees.
He showed me the following night. Some had disappeared but there were many more dotted throughout the whole stand. They were not isolated to just our pine trees. As we gazed across our lane, we noticed many in a neighbour’s deciduous liquid ambers.
Such a beautiful and mysterious sight which we now know the cause of. Thank you!
We got up this morning to our firewood in front of our stove glowing. My guy was very excited. He saw this when he was 11. He is 74 now. He woke our 11 year old to show him. We live in Packwood WA. Amazing phenomenon!
I also went to the woodpile on the porch and it to was aglow! Thank you for the explanation!
Last night roughly 1030 pm. We live in upstate New York. Roughly 60 miles north of the city. I saw a tree glowing a lime green kind of color.. I saw the happen once before but about a year ago and a different tree… Grabbed my dad out of bed and we walked over and just watched this glowing tree. Good to know I wasn’t just having a green glitch with my eyes ?. Cool stuff tho
I have seen foxfire!
It is beautiful and haunting!
This is a phenomenon I’ve seen many times. My first encounter was when I lived in Creuse a department of the Limousin district of France. The area is heavily wooded and has no heavy industry and mostly no light pollution. We had a smallholding and were pretty self-sufficient, including all our firewood. I would regularly spot ‘firefox’ on my stacked wood after a day’s wood cutting. I might have inadvertently picked up some decaying wood from the forest floor along with new wood from a tree I had felled.
I now live in rural Wales, UK, and have been collecting firewood from a local wooded area. I went down last night just for a walk. It was a particularly dark night and there it was again in a small glade were there is a lot of decaying wood laying on the floor.
It is wonderful but I find a little disconcerting. When I first saw it my first reaction was, ‘is it radioactive!’, but an Internet search put my mind at rest. Now I feel privaliged whenever I spot it.
I see it in my neighbors trees all over and intense that are still alive and in a city! In Iowa!
I was just looking this up because i seen some but it didn’t look like all these pics on the internet. I live in northwest Arkansas and i seen it by a river bed when i was camping it was around 2 in the morning and i was sitting on a dead log and when i looked down i seen a really dim light at first i thought it was glow in the dark paint but i started picking at it but more and more just kept falling out of the dead log the deeper i picked at it……it was the craziest thing i ever seen. Almost didnt believe it….
In Dahlonega Georgia me and my buddy saw alot of firefox on his property.
I live in central Michigan about 30 minutes north of grandrapinds i have noticed it happens more when there is a dead stump and I chop it up the peices glow at night, it’s happened every time I’ve done it, but it’s been a very wet summer
My husband cut up a dead tree that had fallen in our backyard. He had it leaning against our firepit and we noticed the glow. It’s really amazing!!
We’re in Northeast Pa
I grew up in north central Pa . Early fall would see it everywhere in the woods. We called it ghost poop. Can’t seem to find any good internet pics
My pine cones are glowing on a live 100 yr old tree this happened 2 yrs ago at my neighbors and now at my own house first time my roommate has seen it , what causes this ? Beautiful green and like fireflies but no movement. thanks for any help PS its sept 28 2016 at 11 45
I live just outside Annapolis, MD. It has been raining for days. I was out on our deck just before 5 am to check the weather and noticed one, pretty much entire, tree trunk glowing and part of another in front of it. I’m 61 and have never seen anything like it. It is eerie, but beautiful. Its still drizzling, no moon, no obvious light source. Balmy warm. But here is the strangest part, the glow would get stronger and then fade, then get stronger and fade til it nearly went out; very slowly and irregularly. Its a heavily wooded area, with only 2 other houses. I’m usually the only person up at this hour on a Sunday. I watched it for about 20 minutes. Its in an area where we lost 2 very old oaks this spring.
My glowing tree turned out to be reflecting the light of a very powerful, 4 houses down the street, and around the bend, hair-trigger motion detector, newly installed outdoor floodlight. I got my husband up at 5:30 am to see the glowing tree, and he figured it out.
Their light can apparently be set off by anything from a deer, so a medium sized rodent to a large moth. Not reporting this correction felt rather like reporting an unconfirmed Ivory-Billed Pileated siting! So, I remain, 61, just outside of Annapolis and unenlightened.
Nancy Merritt, I love your story! It brought a glow to my evening — pun intended. 🙂
We live in the middle of the mitten in Michigan. Last night I let my dogs out one last time before going to bed and noticed a smattering of green lights on a white pine in our yard. It’s been a very wet Autumn and we have a bumper crop of various mushrooms. I’ve spoken to a number of people, locals in particular, and no one has ever seen it. It was on random branches but also way out on the tips of a neighboring tree. It looked as though it has tiny Christmas lights on it.
I have had the privilege of witnessing bio luminescent plankton in a bay in Mexico. What fabulous phenomenon, YAY nature!
We live in Toledo, Ohio. Last night was warm enough to eat outside, around 70 degrees, and we did, even though it was already dark. We noticed at least 10 glowing dots on a tree in our yard which I at first thought were some kind of eyes. After no moving or blinking, curiosity got the best of us and my husband got a flashlight while I got the binoculars. Nothing could be seen on or in the tree, and given our remote location, we knew it was not light cast from neighbors. Must be foxfire, although it makes me wonder about the overall health of the tree now!
It is fall 2016, in fact it is November first, 2016, and I just accidently experienced foxfire as I was scanning the early evening sky with my binoculars, which is a regular habit of mine. I was scanning across the top of the very tall pines next to my home, when I saw this blue green glow sporadically in a line in the tree top, I looked for a possible source of a beam of light from the area, and found none, It was as described above, a blue green glow. I was convinced it was on a branch of the tree. I wanted a witness or two, and got two folks to come look through my binoculars, and they also were able to spot the glowing branch. None of us had seen such a thing before, so here I am, researching and learning that this is a natural occurring reality! Hooray! As I read the article, it spoke of conditions needing to be just right for the chemistry and the source ingredients to work their magic. We had a very soaking rain on the previous Friday and Saturday, it is Autumn, temps apparently have been, just right, all things came together to give me my first ever accidental sighting of foxfire in a pine tree. I also spotted it in other trees in the same row. I hope others have this experience, as it is rather fascinating and seemingly extraordinary!
My husband and I had almost exactly the same experience as David Maurice (would like to know where in North America he saw this).
Richard was heading into the hot tub around 8 pm when he called to me “Kim, you have to get out here and see this – hurry!!”. When he pointed out the glow near the top of a bare tree I brushed it off as something blown up there in the wind, a wayward glow stick perhaps. However once we settled in and our eyes adjusted we started looking around. It was beautiful! A few yards away lives a massive poplar and some other kind of hardwood tree which of course have been stripped of their leaves. Throughout the naked branches and on quite a few of the outer branches we could see what looked like slowly pulsing greenish lights. They’d be visible for a few seconds then slowly fade out and another one would come visible. We thought at first that the in-and-out of the lights might be from branches swaying in front of them but as we watched, we could see some that were definitely fading – slowly – in and out. Even stranger was that around 9:15 we noticed the lights were all gone – all was black.
As for technicalities, we live in Trenton, ON, Cda. We had had 11 mm of rain earlier that day then it cleared with temperatures reaching around 13 Celsius. At the time we saw this, it was a clear night but by 9ish the sky had fully clouded over though I doubt if that had any significance. For the time we could see this phenomenon, whatever it was, it was truly magical and I’m so glad that we were able to witness it. For the eight years we’ve had the hot tub, we’ve never witnessed this before. Maybe we’ll get lucky again tonight. 🙂
Thanks for the story Richard & Kim. My wife & I recently moved to just west of Trenton ON. Never lived in the country though we do a fair bit of camping. I/we have never seen this before tonight. It was about -7 (22f) and 1am when I was getting garbage & recycling together to take out to the road & my wife decided to join me. Our driveway is about 400′ long with large mature trees down both sides. We are in a rural area without street lights and neighbours houses about 400 to 500′ from our driveway. About a third of the way I noticed what I thought were a few stars through the tree branches but the colour was off and it was overcast. Then I noticed one tree with what looked like a fairly large patch of lime green light about 1/2 way up at the bottom of a large branch. As we continued to walk I realized the stars were spots on the branches and glowing as well. There were many spots way up in the trees beside us though none as large or bright as the single spot on the birch off by the edge of our property. This is the first time seeing this amazing phenomenon. It sort of reminded me of the movie Avatar with the glowing plant life lol. I thought it might be a strange growth I have seen on some trees around the property. Sort of a deformed bark like fungus. I had to do a search when we got in and this is where I ended up. Think I am going to go back out with my dslr to see if I can get a shot of it if it is still there. Thanks for so much info on this!
I live in Soddy Daisy, TN. (N. of Chattanooga) We have been in a drought so don’t understand why damp conditions are a requisite for this phenom.
We saw it the first night ever, two nights ago. Since I am an alarmist, all I could think of was some kind of flesh-eating blob that was going to spread over the yard and crawl up the deck and under the door… I feel better after reading the above comments.
However, it is in huge healthy-looking oak trees close to our house. How long does it take to kill the tree? Anyone know?
I agree; it is beautiful. Saw the same color algae in the surf at Gulf Shores, AL, years ago.
Location: New Berlin, suburb west of Milwaukee Wi
Date: 11/29 and 12/30 2016
Temp: 36 degrees F
Delighted to say that I have got Foxfire. First time in my 70 years of life. Magical. Appear as green orbs (as in Christmas tree lights) in my large old silver maple tree. Saw them last night for first time as I looked to the sky for stars. Repeated tonight. Hard frost last night does not seem to have negatively affected them much. Light breeze in branches tonight gives twinkling affect as positions change. Two large as C9 bulb, others all smaller as miniature tree lights. I say again….magical. How great is His creation anyway?
Curiosity: On the east side of the trees only (house side). None on the west side of the tree.
Looks like this is an unusual year for this phenomenon, right?
I have and I am looking at it on multiple trees right now. At first I thought it was fireflies but it hasn’t moved from the same place in 5 days. Glenville New York
About 20 feet up a living maple was a large handprint sized green and flashing patch. The flashing was regular, .5 sec light .5 off approx. In the grove there was smaller patches spread through the canopy of fir and maples. They weren’t synced.
Weather conditions have record rainfalls for the last few months.
I see it in the oak trees to the side and rear of my house. I was able to get a few good pics. I have never noticed it before. Very cool to see.
I’d love to see the pictures
East Tennessee – I was up late last night and let the dog out into the back yard when I looked up into our maple tree and noticed green fluorescent spots over several branches, startled me at first since I had never seen anything like it..it was almost like green Christmas lights all over… very befitting to the season. Beautiful.
Well I happen to have found a good bit perhaps 20 or more spots in the trees around my home n alto ga wow never herd of it till I seen it and asked google what it was and ended up on here it looks almost ailen to me
Foxfire in Oregon, Ohio just steps from Lake Erie. My husband noticed the glowing spots 12/10/16 …this is the first time we’ve seen it, but I really don’t know how we never did. It is super bright like green lights in the tree. This particular tree has a parasite mulberry tree and so I fear that the tree is on its way to dying. Any info is helpful!
My husband just found two small spots up in some of our Live Oak trees just west of Red Bluff, CA, a couple of hours north of Sacramento. We took the spotlight out so we could see it with light on it, but there was nothing obvious to the naked eye, as it is fairly high up. It’s 12/12/16 at 5:45 pm and 48*F. We’ve had a lot of wet weather this fall for our region with more on the way. We will definitely keep looking for it. We own property that is mostly treed, so there’s lots of places to look for it.
The flicker I saw last night looked like Fire Flies in the summer yet it was around 30 degrees last night and I saw them again around 3AM. Just curious and am now concerned that the trees may be blighted. Any help would be appreciated.
I just saw it! I was actually out in my backyard that backs up to woods with my dogs. It’s a clear, cold night & there are lots of stars. I was around 8:30p & I was looking up at the stars & noticed a light blue light. I thought it was a plane, but it different move. My neighbor’s floodlight came on & I could still see the blue glow, about the size of an egg. It looked flat & like it was stuck to the high tree branch. I ran to get binoculars, but by then the floodlight turned off. I could see the glow through the binoculars, but couldn’t see if it was attached to the tree. I came into my house & went upstairs & looked out the back bedroom window. The glow was still there! This was starting to freak me out a bit. I live in a suburban area just outside the city. I decided to see if I could find out anything online about this & that lead me to this site! I feel much better! I will be keeping an eye on this. It’s actually my neighbor’s tree with the branch coming over onto my yard. So glad this site was here!
I just spoke to my mother on the phone. She was familiar with this having grown up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She is 95, but vividly remembered seeing this as a child! I live outside of Richmond, VA….The weather is dryer & a little warmer today, but I’ll be looking for this again tonight!
Just saw it for the first time all over the limbs in the trees in my backyard. It’s cold and clear, almost midnight. The stars are twinkling and the trees are too. The foxfire is jumping back and forth across the ends of limbs. Its amazing. I’m in CT. Lovely greenish glowing light speckled through the trees surrounding the backyard. What a treat.
Wow! Now I know! Yes, I have seen it over the past month in Yorktown Virginia. There are at least 12 spots in various trees. I can’t see them every night, but they have been consistently showing up over the past month. I have never seen anything like it in the 19 years I have lived her. They are definitely not stars – the stars are a blue-white and usually twinkling. These are definitely green and glowing. Thanks for letting me know! Amazing!
Dec.26,2016 There has been blue-green Foxfire in four trees in my backyard for over a week now. Looks great from the hot tub on my deck in Virginia Beach.
So I had to search this. I live on the shoreline of Milford CT. I have lived in CT all my life. Never have I seen this before. It was a beautiful site. I didn’t know what I was looking at. I thought maybe a reflection of someones Christmas lights but its not. 15 years looking at these same trees year round and never saw anything like it. Is this a bad thing? a sign of something bad happening to our environment?
Live in Wilmington, NC and saw it last year and again tonight during my evening walk with my dog through my neighborhood. Soft glowing blue balls of light spotted an old (possibly pecan) tree. It was a new moon so easier to see. However this year noticed the lights spread to the tree next to it to. Only question I have is it’s January and tonight was mid 20s. Is that normal to see foxfire in such cold weather?
Jeff, I agree that it’s odd to see it in below freezing weather. Perhaps it’s a similar organism that likes the cold.
I went in my backyard in suburban South Seattle to look at the wolf moon tonight and saw what looked like glow sticks high up in some trees. I looked more closely with binoculars– saw a uniform glow but nothing like actual mushrooms. What’s odd is that it was well below freezing. I have seen foxfire on stumps in NC in late summer and autumn but never the phenomenon I saw tonight. If anyone knows the species, please advise. This weekend I’ll try to see if all of the glowing patches are only on one species of tree.
Same thing on oak tree. Lots of little green lights like Christmas! No visible mushrooms. And one leaf, glowing green. No fungus! Weird
I have found bioluminescent Fox Fire growing in both in the Elkmont Area and Laural Falls Area of the Smokey Mountains National Park. The best time to go look is after a few weeks of damp and cool tempratures.
These bluish greenish light glowing woods are found plenty around the place called WAMRONG, country-Bhutan.
Students scares others calling the
Ghost infested wood.
I don’t know if it was Foxfire that I found. But when I was younger in the woods I saw thousands of small specks of green glowing light. When I turned on my flashlight I could see nothing. I turned it back off and searched for a larger glowing piece. Found one about two inches long by about a quarter inch high and wide. I turned on my flashlight and it was just a piece of rotted wood. No mushrooms or anything growing on it! The other little glowing pieces we’re just simply further decayed and disintegrated wood. No mushrooms or fungus to be found. What I was wondering is could this mold have been spread out or dusted on these pieces and still glow? Or does it have to be a actual mushroom or fruit as I’ve seen it called?
John, the words mushroom and fruit are certainly confusing for this fungus because it grows like long thin shoelaces between the layers of the wood. Then as the wood disintegrates the fungus falls into smaller pieces because it was inside the wood that is falling apart. Here are some photos of a the fungus inside the layers of wood: http://www.birdsoutsidemywindow.org/2014/06/04/what-made-this-tree-fall-over/
Seen some near a creek here in Alabama glowing in some dead wood freaked me out , i thought it was radiation cause we have power plants nearby
Growing up I remember seeing it in the woods around my neighborhood in Marietta Georgia (which is part of the northern suburbs of Atlanta)
Wow! Just saw a bunch where some tree roots had been broken up by some heavy machinery working on the side of our road. I have heard of this – and not sure that I saw it once before (but couldn’t convince myself it wasn’t some ambient light shining through the trees). This time, pretty absolute. Have a piece in room where I can go in and turn out all the lights and see it glow! Chatham county, NC.
There is always a lot of glowing bark and trees in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Northeastern Ohio. I always wondered what the glow was, as I walk there a lot after midnight when I get off of work. I shined a light a few weeks ago and saw that it was actually the inside of a tree that had fallen. Amazing! The CVNP area where I saw it was Indigo Lake trail, which leads from Indigo Lake to Hale Farm and Village. If you’re ever in the area, just outside of Akron, OH, look it up. It’s an amazing park!
I live in middle Georgia. I was camping on a river last night (July 13) and cut my light out for a moment and noticed scattered glowing green objects all over the ground, I cut the light back on and saw that it was wood. I was dumbfounded with this because I had not even heard that wood could glow. It was a relatively fresh piece of wood, not rotting at all. I brought a piece home but it has started losing the glow, can anyone tell me how to make the enzyme stay strong and glowing??
And there was absolutely no fungus growing on it
Christian, the Armillaria fungus that causes the glow is embedded in the wood and is not noticeable until it glows. It glows because it’s growing. To keep it glowing you’d have to set up conditions that make the fungus healthy. … I don’t know what those conditions would be.
I cut a tree that was laying across the path of a trail that I wanted to make thru our woods “,,I don’t know how long it had been there” after feeling the tree and it had turned dark out, I noticed my cell phone was missing and I thought that it may have fallen while I was using the change saw ..so I had my brother keep calling my number so maybe i could hear and or see my phone..WOW ! I got near the tree that I had cut and I could see it glowing in the dark! I totally freaked out , I have never seen anything like this and I have been cutting trees for 30 years.. no one believes me but I have witness’s
I live in a small town on the central belt on Scotland halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh and I was recently walking through a park with bushes all around it with a friend and we were getting high. The park huge and it’s kept pitch black at night to try to prevent teenagers and junkies using it to get high in. Anyway I spotted a weird light in the bush and stopped and walked back and forth a few times. My friend throught I was just tripping and said hurry up. I then walked up to the bush and lifted a branch and there was a load of glowing in there. My friend thought he was tripping too then. Anyway it was the 17th of October and it was about 2am. It was an unusually warm night and a few days later there was a huge storm. I got paranoid about it so I looked up glowing bushes and found this. Relief to know what it is, an I’ve already let my friend know
I just saw for the first time ever last night, hundreds of small glowing green lights in a large maple tree. I live in Everett, WA. I thought they must be some insect. Beautiful though. 12/3/17
Just outside(Eastern Ontario,Canada) and seen this in the big maple in the backyard..Thought it was really weird so I had to google it and found this site..Thanks
Just witnessed the most amazing natural phenomenon of my life. My wife discovered what she thought was a meteor shower beyond the high limbs of our hardwood trees in our yard at 6 am and had me come out to see it. It was then we learned the blue-green lights were being produced on the tree limbs themselves. The lights were running across the limbs like an electrical charge. It was eerie and amazing at the same time. I was afraid to touch the trees! I had told some friends and family about this and they told me to stop smoking that stuff! Thank you for posting this. We hope to see it again tonight so we can invite our friends over and share this experience.
Dragged my husband and neighbor outside at 10:45pm tonight to see the green glows at multiple different spots in the neighbor’s tall ginkgo tree, in 45? clear weather, in Louisville, KY. Really amazing to see!
So each night I play ball with my dog outside and have never seen anything like I did last night. A glowing green spot on our oak tree. My husband and I thought it was a glow in the dark sticker that flew in the tree. Tonight though while playing, I looked up and saw not only green, but bright red glowing spots. If you walk up close to the tree, you can actually see one-inch sections glowing. So on Christmas Eve, we have green and red glowing ‘lights’ on our tree thanks to the phenomenon Foxfire.
I’ve just found foxfire on some trees in our front garden,mainly on a hazel tree, looks really pretty ,I live on the edge of Dartmoor, Devon .
I had never heard of this until this morning while visiting my mom in Oklahoma, she woke me up to look at the strange green lights flashing on two of the huge trees in her yard. At first, we thought it was Christmas projection lights or a reflection of lights but there is no light source. As soon as it got dark tonight, we saw them again. I tried to get a photo or video but it did not come out. It is the strangest thing I have ever seen. I wouldn’t have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes! The temp is in the low 20’s after being in the 70’s last week.
Paradise, CA-12:00 am, very damp out after light rain. Just saw a luminescent green patch high up on an oak tree…so oddly beautiful! But not common out west, right? Foxfire? Exciting!
I saw foxfire a week ago in western Oregon. I was walking my girlfriend out to her car at night when I looked up and saw a glowing ball of light in an oak tree branch 15 feet above us. The ball was close to 10 inches wide and followed the contour of the branch. The light was dim but once spotted was easily visible. My girlfriend and I could both see it clearly, and watched it for several minutes. It was definitely a cool thing to see in my home state. We have had an unusually warm winter which may be contributing to why the fungus is going here right now.
Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville, Florida. I saw it tonight for the first time and googled glowing spots on trees oak and it resulted in this page being the first to come up.
3 nights ago I was unable to sleep and went to my open bedroom window to take in the view. I spotted a tree in my neighbor’s yard that was “sparkling.” It remained that way until the sun came up. I checked it the following 2 nights and the same phenomenon! Tonight I decided to Google. Isn’t nature wild and unpredictable? I may have to use it as a gag when I have visitors. (Elmira, NY, Early May, 2018)
The night of July 22, 2018 I walked outside with the dogs . We live in a rural part of Oregon. I was looking at the stars when I noticed “twinkling lights” up on the top of several tall firs, like someone had climbed up 200ft. and decorated the tops of just five trees… in the forest. But it was gone the next night. Could this be the same “foxfire”?
Tracie, the twinkling might also be insects.
Hi! I saw Foxfire about three miles off of Washington DC’s Capital Crescent Trail in the woods. I was camping one night an I walked the toe path when I saw something big, glowing like a meteor. I was afraid It might be radioactive but I had to investigate. I got close and it was the bark from the underside of a tree that that I heard fall about a night ago. It was highly bright that night but days after it vanquished. I didn’t recognize the phenomenon so I dug to collect specimens for evaluation. The glowing specks that I had gotten vanquished in brightness also. I collected some separate Firefox branches also that I had luckily found as evidence to be examined by acquaintances. I looked this mystery up on Bing images first and the ideal references lead me to you. I thought it would be my new discovery but I was sure someone throughout time had to document this strange occurrence. Thanks for the conformation!
I cut a dead ash tree this morning, and stacked it in the woodbin by the woodstove, and when I went down to fill it for the night, there was a faint glow radiating from the center out. Kinda freaky…never saw it before!
I noticed green, glowing lights in the trees outside my house in the Hudson Valley, NY. I have lived in this house for 23 years and never saw this before. I immediately attributed this to the presence of the Archangel Raphael, the angel of healing. My son is ill and so is my neighbor. I later remembered the phosphorescent glow of algae in the water at night, and thought about the lichen growing on the trees. However, my home is in a wooded area and these were the only trees glowing. So there is a logical explanation for the green, glowing trees, but I also believe their sudden appearance represents the healing powers of Raphael.
Jamesburg Prk, NJ. Approx time 615pm. In straight lines on the ground some 30′ long. Up in the tree rapped like a candy cane. Some just 1-5 feet long. It was amazing blinking light show. Temp was approx 45-50 degrees. Lots of mushrooms grow there. Complete darkness.
I live in the Berkshires. For at least two nights recently when temps were in the teens (but occurring after two days in the 40s) we started to see phosporescent green “lights” cascading down from high in our white pine stand. Three trees were holdling up our old treehouse and the material falling would bounce and cascade. Some would fall and snake around the bark like water rivulets between the bark ridges. I don’t know if it could be foxfire since the tempersatures were so cold. It happened among many of the white pines in our back yard but was most noticeable in the trio of trees holding the treehouse. Perhaps the above freezing temp could have allowed a spurt of growth in the fungus and then as the temperatures dropped, the fragments of fungus shed??? In all my years in the forests, I’ve never seen such ethereal cascading lights – they moved like water and shooting stars (perhaps the wind moved the particles). We could not see anything in our flashlights or on returning to the base of trees in the light of day. Time release photos also did not capture the experience. While it sounds like it may be a bad thing for these beautiful giants, it felt extraordinary to witness. We saw no glowing patches in the trees themselves, nor a consistent origin point in the tree. Would love to hear if anyone else has an explanation or has seen this at such low temperatures. We are in Western Mass. Temps were 14-18 degrees Fahrenheit
I have lived in this house for 21 years and never saw it until last night 12/27/18. At first we thought it was lightning bugs but then realized it was to late in the year then we thought it was some other type of bug but it moved to quickly up the branches. Despite the date it was about 50 degrees about 8PM and it had started to drizzle rain about an hour before but when it started to pour down rain it quit exactly what you noted it was blue/green patches that seemed to move up the branches. I was amazed so, of course, I searched the internet until I found this site
Many little green points of light in the branches of the maple tree in the backyard here in Nassau County, NY on Long Island. Always wondered which “creature” was producing the light. Glad I found this site to answer my question.
There some on the tree out front of my house the tree is dead I live in Reseda cal it the first time I’ve seen it on some parts of the tree it get Brit and then go’s dark it like it go off and on on the tip’s of the branch. On behalf of 184.108.40.206
Last night in Peachtree City, GA. Was walking the dog in the the woods and saw many glowing twigs, leaves, and trunks. Bright green. Never saw anything like this before.
I was in Greentown, Pa sitting at a campfire. When snapping fallen branches from the woods in half, they had green glowing spots inside. I always wondered about that night.
Found in Davy Crockett national forest, Coldspring texas. Just saw it for the first time at double lakes recreational area in a log my kids drug up and my husband chopped up for firewood. It’s beautiful! Although, I did try to photograph it, unsuccessfully. I wish my kids were still awake to see it!
Camping in Ottawa Lake at Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin. The previous occupier of this spot left a bunch of broken down wood next to the fire ring. From the lot I chose a particularly pokey stick to prod and manipulate the fire through the night – it just looked right, you know how that is, when a stick just looks like a good stick. About waist height, thin on one end and thick on the other. Perhaps the previous occupier used it the same way. It was leaning against a tree, alone, unlike the rest which were piled up on the ground.
Night has fallen and I needed to throw another log on the fire, so the fire stick temporarily doubles as a waking stick as I try and find a suitable log in the dark. As I turn with my walking stick into the pitch of black I notice the end where the branch used to be attached to it’s parent tree is glowing a light blue-green.
It blew my mind for a moment. At first I thought perhaps the stick was hot from having been in the fire – but the glowing side was not the same side that prodded the embers.
It took me a moment to remember that I still needed to stoke fire before taking a moment to Google what what was going on and I ended up here.
We saw this on the top branches of a 50ft tree in our backyard. The entire tree top was covered. It was 85% green and 15% red. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s beautiful. It was also raining an hour before. We are in Trenton Ontario.
I live in Alberta Canada. It is -12 deg c tonight and I have trees in the backyard covered in pin pricks of light. Mostly blue-white but some red Is this fox fire? It’s beautiful
Maureen Charlton, not sure about the red & blue lights. This article on bioluminescence says that most plants & animals outside the ocean glow yellow/green. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-bioluminescence-evolved-be-red-light-and-blue-180969435/
We saw it in the early 80’s in East Texas after cutting down some trees during the day and we were setting around outside before we went in, we had no lights on outside and we were in the country, it was late fall, we saw glowing things on the ground but when we picked it up and took it in we found out that all it was was wood from a tree we cut down
We burn wood to heat our swimming pool. My son got a bunch of oak from his friend .
we chopped up about half of it. That night i went to load up the heater when I grabbed a log it was glowing I started looking around there is chips of glowing bark all around the chopping block. Very cool 6/29/2020
I have/had foxfire on a live maple. Was able to get a long exposure pic from two angles. I’m up in the thumb of Michigan M-25 and have the perfect condition for the fungus. What I didn’t know was that it can kill the tree which is nearly 200 years old so I’m looking to treat the fungus infection.
I saw the same phenomenon over the weekend on the ground next to a stream. It was a faint greenish colored luminescent light that varied in intensity and would even disappear at times, but then would light up again. I stood and watched it from a bridge over the creek for about 20 minutes and could not see any other source of light that could have caused it.
I have seen a similar glowing on severed tree roots on a very dark night after digging a trench on a military training exercise in Ndola Zambia in 1964. Very interesting. I do not know what tree, but it was more like a shrub than a tree.
I just witnessed this for the first time ever. I live in a small town in Ohio, in town, but we have a massive pine tree in our backyard! Last night outside, I witnessed Foxfire, but didn’t know that’s what it was! I also thought I was seeing things until I brought my two young boys out and they saw it too!! It is beautiful and amazing and I’ve never seen anything quite like it!! Hopefully we will see it again tonight!! Very cool!
I saw Foxfire last night, Christmas Eve 2020, in Tumwater, Washington USA. It was a cold evening (42F), and the sky was clear and starry with a near-full moon rising. The day before was windy and cold with a soaking rain. I went out to observe the ‘Christmas Star’ pairing of Jupiter and Saturn, the closest they appear together in 800 years. With my eyes adjusted to night vision, I trekked back toward the house and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a couple dozen points of light at the tips of the lower branches of a huge Douglas fir tree. They glowed green and steady like tiny Christmas lights. It was eerie and magical, and very fitting for the season.
Just witnessed this in New Jersey January 3rd. It was like a single little Christmas tree light growing on a type of conifer. It did not seem to last long; I turned my head and it was gone.
Across the street, two different trees, about forty or fifty feet up. A blue light in one tree and a red in the other, I got pictures of it. I’ll go out in the morning with my binoculars and see what I see.
Foxfire is blue-green so may appear blue. If you use a flashlight the flashlight will overwhelm foxfire’s color and show you the daytime color of the tree (brown/red).
Great experiences…nice to see.
March 22, 2021- Whitby, Ontario, Canada- 41F. /winter. Only 1 maple tree of many has a couple limbs with 6-8 visible lights at a time. They seem to go on and off at super slow rate but are predominantly on and hard to miss. Originally thought they were sap droplets shimmering from the moonlight but it’s been isolated to that branch for 5he last couple nights. Amazing! Keep the stories going! Wouldn’t have found this forum until I looked it up, hoping I wasn’t seeing stars in the trees.
I was in Northern Alabama, valley head Alabama to be exact. It’s on the foothills of lookout mountain. I had just participated in a sweat lodge and was feeling great. The night was clear with a touch of wetness in the air. I saw the glowing coming from the bottom of a tree. It was a tree root kind of substance. I ripped a piece apart and tied it to my drum. It glowed for a little while – week or so I think. It was such a special thing to find this foxfire. Glad to finally know what it is and that others have enjoyed that as well.
I live in slippery rock Pa. I first heard about this glow in the dark phenomenon when I was a kid camping with my dad. When the sun came down we saw a lady with her kids and dog walking in the woods at dark as we were sitting around the fire. She said hi told she was looking for this moss and never saw it until 20 years later camping at kinzua lake in Pennsylvania when I went to get fire wood at night and saw this stuff covering a bunch of dead logs. It was a sight to see. It looked like something on another planet or in prehistoric times. It was amazing! And beautiful at the same time.
Growing up in the Finger Lakes, western New York State, my family camped full-time most of every summer at Stony Brook State Park, just outside Dansville, NY.. For we children, who were given unlimited run of the off-public areas of the park, growing intimately familiar with the forest was our favorite pastime. At least once a week we went into an area deep in the forest beyond the campgrounds. We took no flashlights since we literally knew our way around the area in the dark. Our objective was to seek out what we called “fairy lights,” areas on the forest FLOOR, not standing or fallen trees, but fallen leaves and evergreen needles strewn on the forest floor that glowed green. The glow was easy to find. We’d mark the areas with upright sticks we jammed into the ground; then return the next day to see what had been glowing. We never saw evidence of mushrooms, or any kind of visible fungus … just decaying leaves and needles. We assumed the some kind of tiny fungus must be causing the glow. But we were kids in the forest without microscopes and only beginners knowledge of forest mysteries. My father assured us that it was, indeed, part of the decaying process. Bioluminescence was always ever after fascinating to us. Yes, it may seem useless and a waste of energy to some. But to us it was an endless source of fascination and part of our youthful joy in the mysteries of nature, most of which we believed were put there to deepen our love of this amazing planet.
In Chaska, Minnesota, for the last two nights I saw blue green glowing items in the tops of a tall tree. I have lived in the state all my life and had never seen this before. The temperature the last two nights has been in the low 70s or upper 60s, and it did rain a little in the morning each day, but the state is generally considered to be in a moderate drought. Like some others who posted, at first I thought maybe I was just seeing stars through the trees, but realized they were in the tree. Tonight was the second night, and standing under the tree I could see around three dozen spots of this glowing. It happens to be a meteor shower night also so quite a good night for gazing up anyway. I am sad to find out that this is a bad sign for the tree. I had hoped it was some exotic but harmless insect as we have a lot of fireflies in this state also.
Downed tree bark in sandbanks provincial park, prince Edward county, Ontario
I just saw some the other night! In the exact conditions that you just mentioned in this article! Very early fall end of summer, damp night, around 70°. The really awesome thing about this is that just a few weeks ago I discovered honey mushrooms for the very first time growing all over the place around my yard and decided to look into them finding out that they are edible and eat some. They were delicious and a had a ritual about eating them where I asked them to allow me to communicate with the land around here, my childhood home. And now I stumbled upon their bioluminescence! Thank you for writing this article! I’m in Rochester New York, by the way. The mushrooms I’ve been eating are in a town called Greece. And the bio luminescence I saw was out in Palmyra which is in a very rural area and it was very dark.
I’m in Parma Ohio and I notice last night for the first time that my neighbor and I have a rare but beautiful green glow on our trees. It kinda freaked me out at first because I had never seen anything like this up close so I video tape it on my phone. After doing a little researching I found this page and it’s called “foxfire” which is glowing on several trees in my and my neighbors yard. But there was No signs of it on any of my other neighbors trees in my area nor did I notice it on the trees the night before. Not sure how long it is going to last but will have a great conversation about with my neighbors. Thanks for the insight.
I am 48 years old and have seen it once when I was in my mid 20’s. I was walking in the woods one night along the river between Slanesville, and Paw Paw Wv. I have been looking for it, and hoping to see it again ever since, but no such luck yet.
I just saw this right now in Boise Idaho on a Catalpa tree. It is all over the tree. I thought it was fireflies or frost but fireflies are hibernating so it must be foxfire. Beautiful!
I live in north Mississippi. I saw it tonight. I’ve never heard of it before. It scared me to death. I finally googled what glows on tree bark. It’s February 3rd, 2023 and it’s 35 degrees and a clear sky. I was looking for the comet and thought it was a cluster of stars. I finally got the nerve up to go back outside and I could see it along the branches of other trees. I can see it with my flashlight shining on it and without it.
Looking for the comet found this in only one tree near top, strobing green lights, twinkling white lights and colums of streaking lights up, down, and sideways. Spectacular show for 2 nights, then last night only for 10 minutes. We, my neighbors and I, hope to see it again. Fascinating and beautiful! Never had we seen it here or heard of it in Colorado. We all had to look it up.