The Q&A Archives: Pine Tree Ooze

Question: I have 18 pine trees (I don't know what kind) on the north side of my property. I noticed a creamy colored resin on some of the crotches of some of the trees. It's not on all the crotches or all the trees. Is that something I need to take care of and if so how?

Answer: Assuming it's not just normal sap dripping (which can look like a creamy-colored resin), there is a bacterial condition called slime flux. A watery substance drains from branch crotches or cracks. However, it is usually dark, not creamy, and it is slimy and often foul smelling. There are no preventions or cures for slime flux, other than taking good care of the trees and making proper pruning cuts that can heal quickly. You might want to take a sample to a nursery or your County Cooperative Extension office. There is an office in Clovis at 818 Main St., 763-6505. My directory doesn't show a hort. agent, but you could call and ask their procedures for plant samples. Or, if there is a Forest Service office near you, they could probably look at it. Good luck!

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