Yellow paint on trees? DEC says that’s not what it is at all

Regional News

Physarum polycephalum, which is actually a slime mold that helps with decomposition (source: DEC)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Do you ever see a tree with yellow paint on it? Well, it’s not yellow paint at all. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said it’s called Physarum polycephalum and it’s actually alive.

DEC said it’s not really an animal, plant or even a fungus. It’s actually a slime mold. It helps in decomposition and keeping the forest clean of dead and decomposing matter.

This slime mold was found in Ferris Lake Wild Forest in Herkimer County (credit: DEC)

This mold can move up to 4 centimeters per hour, has the ability to navigate mazes, and recently got its own exhibit at the Paris Zoo. This slime mold is native and a natural part of New York forests.

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