It often becomes a stinky and unsightly mess running down the trunk. It seems to run more during wet weather as the tree has more sap. It will stain the bark white and will not wash off easily. The slime is toxic to the surrounding live tissue in the trunk, but it won't spread and kill the tree by itself.
In the old days we would suggest to install a drainpipe into the tree to relieve the gas pressure, but it doesn't do any good and installing the pipe damages the tree.
Email questions to Jeff Rugg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help rooms get cooler
Q: My grandmother still switches her house from winter to summer. She puts on white slipcovers and takes down the heavy draperies. It's a lot of work, but the house does feel refreshed and cooler. My grandmother is from the Old Country. Do people still make seasonal changes? Not my generation.
A: We have Willis Haviland Carrier to thank for that. He who invented air conditioning has lightened the seasonal load for housekeepers ever since.
Actually, Carrier called it his “Apparatus for Treating Air,” when he patented his splendid invention in 1906 (soon after winning a master's in engineering at Cornell University). That “apparatus” not only lets all of us live in year-round comfort today, it has made home life possible at all in extreme areas like Florida, Houston and Arizona.
Still, there's something to be said for decorating cool, too. Even in these days of “all-season” fabrics, doesn't it give us a spiritual lift to switch our personal wardrobes from dark and thick and winter-cozy to whites and pastels, crisp linens and summer-fresh gauzy sheers?
Visual air conditioning works the same magic in our homes. The living room we show here is cool in every sense of the word. And no wonder: It's designed by Mariette Himes Gomez (www.mariettehimesgomez.com, one of the most applauded interior designers in the U.S.
That she is also an architect (who trained with the likes of Edward Durell Stone) is easy to see in her clean lines, calm colors and the classic style of her furniture, which, by the way, is available through Hickory Chair Furniture Co., an American classic since 1911 (hickorychair.com).
Summer-izing ideas to be gained from this room: light colors, uncluttered surfaces and uncomplicated window treatments. Slick and shine, as on the tabletops, effectively lowers the visual temperature, too.
Rose Bennett Gilbert,