Yellow seeds, fungus eggs?

Asked August 25, 2020, 10:46 AM EDT

Hello, I have a large Emerald Green arborvitae in my yard that isn't looking well and I removed some of the old pine straw from underneath it to help with too much moisture. When I did this, I found a bunch of tiny yellow balls by the base of the tree. I'm not sure what they are and didn't want to remove them without checking. Can someone please help me identify these?

Mecklenburg County North Carolina

1 Response

Bright yellow balls like these appear to be are often earthworm egg sacs. They generally change to brownish-red when they are close to hatching. The area in which you found them (under mulch and moist) sounds like it would be good for earthworms so that is my first thought. Some fungi form similar balls during hard conditions in order to survive. These types of balls often turn brown.

Some slow release components of fertilizer have a similar appearance, too. Since you didn't mention fertilizing recently I doubt that is what these are plus they would not be all together like this either.