Tree Foam

General discussions of forests and trees that do not focus on a specific species or specific location.

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Matt Markworth
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Tree Foam

Post by Matt Markworth » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:58 pm

Lowly tree foam, Characterless? Dull? Insignificant? Modest? Unremarkable?

I suppose any natural phenomena is worthy of study and that it’s all in the eye of the beholder. And since rain isn't conducive to measuring trees, why not make the most of it?

Apparently, dissolved compounds are reducing the surface tension of the water and when mixed with air, are causing bubbles. Are those compounds already in the rainwater, on the tree, or both? Not sure.

Here is a video paired with a fitting Thoreau quote . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euenmTtHbaA
Beech foam 7 small.jpg
- Matt

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edfrank
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Re: Tree Foam

Post by edfrank » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:40 pm

I have been aware of natural foam in various streams and waterways, but never noticed it associated with trees. Likely just my own poor powers of observation. Definitely neat and worth posting.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

Joe

Re: Tree Foam

Post by Joe » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 am

nature is infinitely complex and the universe is infinitely large and infinitely old--- kinda humbles us...

I wonder what that foam is all about?

Joe

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Tree Foam

Post by Matt Markworth » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:38 pm

This makes the most sense . . .
This theory was expounded upon by Steve Pettis, who said:

“My guess is that the foam is caused by the formation of a crude soap on the bark. During drought there is an accumulation of salts, acids and other particles from the air that coat the bark surface (soap is essentially salts and acids). When it rains, these mix with the water and go into solution. The froth (foam) is from the agitation of the mixture when it encounters a barrier (bark plates) during its flow toward the ground.”
http://www.walterreeves.com/gardening-q ... s-on-bark/

- Matt

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