What is this brown substance on a fallen pine branch?

Melissa G
by Melissa G
The rain brought down some pine tree branches in our yard, and we found this brown substance over much of them. At first I thought it was some kind of lichen but it looks much scarier than that. Any idea what it is, and whether it indicates some kind of problem? (The pine cone in the picture should give you some idea of the size.)
what is this brown substance on a fallen pine branch, gardening
  10 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jan 19, 2013
    I know oozing sap can be a sign of pine beetles, and that is a serious problem around here. I think your best bet is to take a branch to your local cooperative extension office and have them investigate. http://extension.uga.edu/

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 20, 2013
    Does your tree otherwise seem healthy? If the damage is caused by pine pitch beetles, you should be able to see "pitch tubes" if you look closely at your tree. For an example, and more info, see this from Hometalk member and Georgia Gardener Walter Reeves: http://www.walterreeves.com/insects-and-animals/southern-pine-beetle/

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 20, 2013
    If it is sticky and resinous I would say it is in the "sap" group. If it is slimy or gelatinous it might be a slime mold.

  • Melissa G Melissa G on Jan 20, 2013
    Thanks, all. I will look for those pitch tubes and maybe visit the local extension office too.

  • Melissa G Melissa G on Jan 26, 2013
    Just wanted to update everyone -- I contacted the county extension service and they identified it as a fungus that grows on dead wood. It does not attack live trees and is nothing to worry about unless I see a lot of dead branches in the yard, which I'm not.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Jan 26, 2013
    Very interesting. thanks for the update. Glad they could help. That's putting taxpayer dollars to great use.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 27, 2013
    Good news.

  • Rose Hopkins Rose Hopkins on Dec 31, 2014
    Its pine sap. An old pine stump will have what some people call rich lighter pine you can use it to start the fire place.

    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Jan 01, 2015
      @Rose Hopkins When we bought our place it had some recently cut trees..there was an odor of pine pitch. The stumps were in a bad state of deterioration so we cut up the stumps fairly easily and had great kindling for the fire place..it took very little to start a great fire. The Lighter comes from the trees being cut after the sap has fallen in the fall.

  • Beverly Beverly on Jan 02, 2015
    so if the goo is fungus on a dead wood, don't you have to wonder if the tree will die and fall and when?

  • Linda Linda on Feb 28, 2015
    We have those quite often here in the South. It is a jelly like mold that is very squishy. My older brother used to call them 'Gooey Bears", lol It is so yucky when you reach to grab a branch and get a handful of that 'oook', yuk..... Harmless but repulsive.