Thread: Large oak tree has slime flux?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Matthews, NC, USA
    Posts
    2

    Large oak tree has slime flux?

    Hello everyone!

    So my family just built a house on a relatively small lot (just ouside of Charlotte, NC), but there were a few big trees on it. Some had to be taken down, my dad saved as many as possible. He saved one tree which is a pretty large oak. About a year ago I noticed some sap (or something similar) seeping out of the tree near the bottom. It was attracting some insects and the such. I knew I should have contacted someone at the time, but I let it go.

    Fast forward to now, and I noticed a strong vinegar smell around the tree. I looked at the base and there was a 2nd spot of worry now. The previous sap-seeping spot was now dormant, but this second area is worse. Here are some pics.

    That is a close up of the newer diseased area. I have no clue what it is, but it worries me. We certainly don't want to lose this tree. I noticed the white stuff is just a soft foam, and the dark matter below it is like a soft black mud. There have been some beetles like the one in the picture hanging out on it.



    Here is the same area but from further away.



    In this picture, the new area is on the left, and on the right the older sap-seeping area is visible. It is darker than the regular bark.



    Can anyone help me out here? Is there anything I can do to treat it without getting an Arborist out here? [/img]

  2. #2

    RE: Large oak tree has slime flux?

    Yeah it looks like Slime flux also called Bacterial Wet Wood.

    Go here if you have not already seen this post to read more about it:
    http://forums.arborday.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3069

    The flux can become sticky to slimy in texture, and often has a sweet or bad sour smell. Many times it has an area that is white and frothy and can forms near the base of the trunk such as yours. The dripping substance is rich in starches, sugars and proteins and, thus, makes an excellent growing medium for various bacteria and fungus. The discharge may attract many insects, which then feed on the ooze and use the moist areas to lay their eggs. The most commonly observed insects are wasps and bees. In most cases, neither wetwood nor alcoholic flux is very serious. The infection generally will not kill established trees and usually does not last a very long time especially if it is a small area. There is really nothing you can do to help the infection and many old recommendations now are known to actually harm the tree more than help.

    Your tree looks like a White oak from the bark. We had a white oak that had a Slime flux infection and it was oozing like that also except it was much lager about 2 or 3 feet long from the base of the trunk up. Hornets, bees, and bugs were gathering all over the area. It finally stopped oozing by itself and now I think it has healed. The yellow stuff is probably some type of fungus which would likely do no harm. White Oaks are very hardy long lived trees and it should be fine.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Matthews, NC, USA
    Posts
    2

    RE: Large oak tree has slime flux?

    Could I just try to get rid of the insects then? We have a swing nearby and the insects are quite annoying.

    Yes, White Oak sounds right.

    There is really nothing you can do to help the infection and many old recommendations now are known to actually harm the tree more than help.
    Good thing you told me!

    White Oaks are very hardy long lived trees and it should be fine.
    That is nice to hear.

  4. #4

    RE: Large oak tree has slime flux?

    Yeah that would be fine.

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