I have an old oak tree (probably as old as my house--81 years old)...I'm
trying to treat it well so that it will last even longer...today I was
pulling ivy off the trunk and I noticed that there was a distinct smell of
vinegar coming from the tree bark. When I leaned closer, I confirmed it
was definitely coming from the tree--kind of a clean smell, like apple cider
vinegar but I find it strange!
I split a lot of red oak for firewood, and I too have experienced that
smell-- vinegar or almost a mustard smell from the wood. If you were
smelling it from pulling ivy, I suspect it's coming from the corky bark and
not the interior wood, so I wouldn't worry.
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
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