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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sap Dripping from Tree Trunk a Common Problem

Q. We love your advice. Please explain and tell us any info about our trees. We sent you some pictures. I removed the dried area and flushed with water. We lost large cottonwoods years ago having same condition.

Slime flux or wetwood on a large established tree
which is not the readers.
A. The pictures show a liquid coming directly from the trunk of the tree. This may be a disease called wetwood or slime flux that can infect many different types of trees. The liquid coming from this disease will have a putrified, yeasty smell which quite often attracts flies. In many cases, the liquid does not seem to be coming from any cut or damage to the tree. It seems to come directly from the limb or trunk.

            This particular disease is normally not lethal. However, there are some trees where it seems quite deadly. One of them is Navaho globe willow. In this case it has been noted that it has killed trees. In any regard, this disease in poplars, elms, mesquite and other trees is usually not deadly. It is considered more of a nuisance than anything else.  

            Check to see if there is an odor to the liquid. See if flies are attracted to the liquid on a warm day when flies are present. If this is the case, there is nothing you can do about the situation but have the tree live with it. There are no fungicides or other pesticides that will make any changes. Hopefully the tree will have a long life living with this problem.

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