White spots in grass / tree issue

Asked July 10, 2020, 8:30 AM EDT

Hi! I’ve noticed a white substance in a patch of grass under a very tall pine tree. About a year ago I noticed what I thought was bird droppings on leaves of myrtle. This summer I notice bright white spots on a patch of grass. And yesterday, a few white blobs in the same patch of grass. I am not locating anything streaming down the trunk or on branches (however, the branches are very high so it’s difficult to see). Any ideas as to what this might be?

Clinton County Michigan

3 Responses

Hi there,
That is very likely sap dripping down. The large glob is most certainly sap; you can confirm by smelling it (should smell somewhat like pine sol). Are the drops on the grass sticky like sap?
The droppings on the myrtle look at bit different. More bluish? Did the areas that had the 'droppings' then turn brown?
Feel free to respond via this thread or by using my contact information listed below.
Thank you,

Thank you for your response, Julie. Yes, the larger pieces smell like pine. The spots on the grass are hardened and crumble when I touch them. The spots on the myrtle are white - I think it looked more blue in the photo and is actually the leaf color altering it some. I appreciate your help with this!

Hello, again!
The white spots on the grass could be sap. Not sure what else would crumble?
If the white spots on the myrtle lead to dead leaf tissue, then its likely a fungus or powdery mildew. If those areas do not eventually turn brown, I would not recommend treatment. If they do turn brown, then you can treat the plant with a fungicide. I found an article that lists some active ingredients to look for:

use a generic fungicide that contains one of these ingredients: propiconazole, tebuconazole, thiophanate-methyl, myclobutanil or triadimefon. Apply as directed; keep applying until the mildew has retreated.

Consider an organic alternative. If you prefer to use a nonchemical fungicide, choose one that contains neem oil, sulfur or potassium bicarbonate. According to the National Arboretum, horticultural oil can also control powdery mildew. Apply as directed.

I hope that helps. Please answer back if you have any questions.

Thank you!