Hi, I was working in my flower bed in North Raleigh, North Carolina and found small piles of what looked like crushed ice but is the texture of a jelly. Did not notice it there two days ago. What would it be? Terresa
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Hi Terresa, Thanks for writing. I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, so I asked my friend Eric Powers of Your Connection to Nature. Eric identified your jelly crushed ice as the defensive fluid released by a black cherry tree, (Prunus serotina). The process of releasing gum resin to fight insects or disease is called gummosis. Black cherry is well known to release large amounts of gum, primarily to fight peach bark beetles. Eric points out that it usually has a brown tinge, but it can be crystal clear. So the question is, do you have a black cherry tree overhanging your garden? Tom
Source: Barnd, B.D., Ginzel, M.D. Causes of Gummosis in Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). Purdue Extension. FNR-229-W
That is seriously interesting. I don’t believe I have any black cherry trees. I’ll see if I can do a mini catalog. Without looking I know we have Hawthorne, holly, tulip, black pine, some other evergreen. Terresa
That would be great. I would pay particular attention to the tree directly above where you found the “crushed ice.” Tom
That looks like water absorbing crystals to me. They are added to potted plants to help maintain moisture.