Q: The other day my son chopped down a small dead tree. That night we noticed the stump and the piece he had cut off were glowing just like a fluorescent light. The chips laying on the ground were also glowing. I have asked many folks and no one seems to know what it is. Any ideas?
A: The tree was being broken down by ^Armillaria^ decay fungus, which causes bioluminescence. The wood will glow for up to eight weeks if you keep it damp and in the presence of oxygen. Hunters moving through the woods at night call the phenomenon “foxfire”. Tree expert Kim Coder has a great explanation of bioluminescence at Foxfire: Bioluminescence in the Forest
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