REMARKABLE: Trees in the Nymboida area frothing during the recent rainfall.
REMARKABLE: Trees in the Nymboida area frothing during the recent rainfall.

What's with all the frothing trees ?

THE spectacle of trees frothing after the weekend downpour has left people on the Coffs Coast scratching their heads.

With such a prolonged dry spell the rain was celebrated far and wide with some people taking to social media proclaiming that even the trees were crying with happiness.

With towns on water restrictions and fires raging, weather forecasters had long predicted a late January downpour.

In Coffs Harbour the rain started to fall on Friday with the Bureau of Meteorology recording 20.2mm and another 11.0mm on Saturday.

Sunday saw 117.0mm recorded at the Coffs Harbour Airport station.

Nature Conservation Council ecologist and local resident Mark Graham has observed the frothing trees in recent days.

During prolonged dry periods saponins (organic soapy-like foams) and other organic chemicals accumulate on bark and leaves.

The chemicals are produced mostly by eucalyptus trees to defend themselves against microbes and herbivores.

 

REMARKABLE: Trees in the Nymboida area frothing during the recent rainfall.
REMARKABLE: Trees in the Nymboida area frothing during the recent rainfall.

As rain falls it dissolves the chemicals, and the compounds the trees produce act as a natural soap.

"These chemicals may also help water penetrate otherwise dry and water-repellent soils," Mr Graham said.

"Mother nature is truly remarkable."

Despite the widespread rain a total of 67 fires were still burning across the State on Monday morning with the NSW Rural Fire Service preparing for a return of hot and windy conditions this week.

In Coffs Harbour temperatures will remain in the low 30s this week with little chance of rain until Friday which will see a 60 per cent chance of rain (between 10 to 20mm) and a possible thunder storm.

2019 was the hottest and driest year Australia has ever endured, topping the Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) charts for average and maximum temperatures as well as the lowest annual rainfall across the country.


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