The Q&A Archives: Trees With Slime Flux

Question: We found out our shade trees have slime flux but no one know how to get rid of it. Help!

Answer: According to Mary Olson, plant pathologist for the University of Arizona, slime flux is caused by several types of bacteria that infect the sapwood of many different trees. Microorganisms associated with the disease are found in the soil and probably enter through wounds above or below the soil line. Over several years, their population increases. This shows up as a dark, watering fluid that drains from cracks, pruning cuts, etc and may drip down the tree. This liquid also supports the growth of other microorganisms, which contributes to the "slimy" texture and bad odor this is typical of slime flux disease.

There are no controls for slime flux disease. The good news is that most trees with this disease can live for many years. Weak limbs should be removed if they are a safety hazard. If the liquid drips onto walkways, it can be sprayed off routinely. The best way to prevent slime flux is to provide good tree care practices, including watering, fertilizing and pruning correctly.

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