Bacterial Wetwood Slime Flux [Common Signs And Treatment]

Trees are essential to the environment and offer a wide range of apparent benefits.

Our discussion here is centered mainly on one of several conditions or diseases that affect trees; slime flux infection. This is a bacterial disease that’s common with stressed-out and damaged trees.

Treating Trees Infected with Slime Flux

You’re probably reading this article because you’ve noticed smelly slime flux leaking out of your tree(s). If so, this article has been written to help answer all your pressing questions on slime flux treatment.

In this article, you’ll find information on the disease, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

About Slime Flux

This bacterial condition is also known by several names like bacterial wet wood and bacterial slime.

In simple terms, slime flux can be described as opportunistic pathogens that take advantage of weakened trees. It’s not clear whether this condition can affect every tree species.

However, some well-known tree species vulnerable to this disease include elm, boxelder, aspen, ash, fruitless mulberry, oak, and poplar.

Irrespective of tree species, what’s paramount is the need to take immediate action to eliminate the problem and prevent further spread.

Common disease-causing bacteria known to cause this condition include Pseudomonas, Clostridium, Klebsiella, Bacillus, and Enterobacter.

When these get into the tree through injuries sustained, they begin to grow and target tree sap as a nutrient source.

As these bacteria feed on tree sap, oxygen within the heartwood is eventually exhausted. Under anaerobic conditions, many situations play out.

These include the production of methane, an increase in sap pH, and increased pressure within the wood.

Trees affected by slime flux disease don’t make good lumber as they’re mainly discolored. Without immediate treatment, this bacterial disease spreads rapidly and affects other plants nearby.

Symptoms of Slime Flux Disease

Before treatment is administered or determined for any tree condition, there needs to be proper identification of the problem.

Common slime flux symptoms to look out for include oozing smelly liquid that bubbles out of the tree. This will typically run down the trunk.

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When the liquid gets dried, it leaves behind a pale gray or white crust. This condition tends to be more common in summer as the bacteria become more active during such times.

You might also notice much darker heartwood deep in the tree’s interior than surrounding sapwood.

In extreme cases, affected trees might show signs of leaf scorch, dying branches, premature leaf shedding, and wilting.

It’s important to state that slime flux disease primarily results from wounded and stressed-out trees. Stress can arise from soil compaction due to heavy machinery or human activities.

Treating Slime Flux Disease

There are multiple ways by which you can treat this bacterial disease. These include preventive treatment, calling for professional help, and refraining from drilling holes in affected trees.

Let’s explain each of these points to give you a clearer picture of what’s involved.

i. Preventive Treatment

The best treatment approach is usually the preventive type. This proactive strategy ensures that trees are protected from slime flux and other diseases.

It involves several simple actions like hiring a licensed arborist for all your pruning needs. Proper pruning helps prevent diseases from infesting the plants.

Other preventive approaches include planting trees around areas with little to human or vehicular traffic. That way, soil compaction issues are prevented. This helps avoid flux slime from developing.

Another preventive measure includes the timely removal of dead and weak branches.

With such limbs removed, the chances of infection are limited. Climatic conditions can contribute to stress, which may lead to diseases like slime flux.

You’ll have to do your best to guard your trees against such conditions. A great way to start is by consulting a pro.

The activities you perform around your tree could lead to injuries. It’s essential to avoid causing damage to trees as that could make them vulnerable to diseases like slime flux.

You should keep all construction and lawn equipment away from trees.

When trees are accidentally injured, you’ll do well to call for professional treatment. An expert provides proper treatment, thus preventing bacterial diseases from infecting the tree.

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ii. Calling an Arborist

An arborist performs all forms of tree care to keep trees in good health.

You might want to call for scheduled inspections to promote tree health. This is another form of preventive control or treatment that reduces the potential of disease and pest infestation.

Apart from preventive treatments, an arborist helps treat active diseases and pest infestations. It’s essential when seeking professional help to only patronize licensed and trained arborists.

There are lots of reputable tree services that serve different locations.

You might want to research different tree services within your area. Customer reviews serve as a valuable resource for finding the best and most reliable service providers.

One tip to help you make the right pick is to contact multiple tree services to compare their service offerings.

Choosing from multiple service providers enables you to make a better decision. Also, you’re likely to get a better deal as these companies each have unique pricing structures.

iii. Refrain from Drilling Holes on Affected Trees

Often, property owners are tempted to perform tree treatments without calling a pro.

Experience has often proven such methods to be ineffective. Many such approaches have encouraged the drilling of holes in affected trees. The drilling of such holes will only compound the problem.

Rather than adopting this approach, it’s best to seek professional help. The results are likely to be much better through professional treatment of slime flux.

Insecticides Don’t Work!

When it comes to the treatment of slime flux, you’re likely to find a lot of claims about the efficacy of insecticides. Contrary to claims about their effectiveness, insecticides don’t work.

These are designed for pest use and nothing more. You might worsen the condition of your tree by applying this method.

Slime flux disease is a treatable condition that can be reversed using the right approach. We’ve mentioned a number of these, including preventive and professional treatments.

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