Sap Freezing

Frozen sap of red oak, 10 Feb 2019 (photo by Kate St. John)

The weather this month has been up and down like a yo-yo: A low of 6oF on February 2, highs in the 50s and 60s for six days, then a low of 14oF on February 9. During those warm days the sap started running in the trees. I wouldn’t have noticed except …

On February 10 during a walk in Schenley Park I found flash-frozen sap on the damaged trees. At top, a fallen red oak made a red-orange waterfall. Below, a small amount of sap in a fungi-encrusted tree dripped like orange ribbons.

Sap runs and freezes inside healthy trees, too. We just can’t see it.

(photos by Kate St. John)

4 thoughts on “Sap Freezing

  1. I got in the habit of leaving bird food in the grass of my backyard for Mourning Doves and Cardinals and twice now I found at least 20 crows out there instead. The first time I shooed them away second time not so much because there were so many, I was scared. Should I try a different time other than morning to put feed out or stop altogether?

    1. In the winter crow flocks remember where there’s food and they tell their friends. Crow numbers will increase in your yard in the days ahead. Stop feeding for about a week. When you resume feeding do not put the food on the ground. Put it in hanging feeders that are too small for crows to perch on.

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