Friday, September 25, 2015

Slime Flux

NMSU Plant Clinic

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 08:16 AM PDT
Pruning wound on a cedar tree that has become infected
with slime flux. (Photo N. Goldberg) 
Slime flux, also known as bacterial wetwood, is a disease that can be caused by several different species of bacteria. These bacteria can infect many different species of woody trees. Some of the most commonly affected species in New Mexico include: elm, willow, and mulberry.

The most noticeable symptom of slime flux is ooze flowing down the trunks or branches of infected trees. It first causes the bark to appear moist (thus the name wetwood) and eventually dries to a whitish color. The ooze may be white, slimy and frothy and possess a foul odor. This bacterial exudate is attractive to insects and large numbers may be found in the ooze of actively sliming trees. Branches on affected trees may wilt and dieback. The slime is toxic to the bark and to plants growing under the tree. Bark killed by the ooze, especially around the exit wound, may become loose and may eventually slough from the tree.

For more information on this disease please see Slime Flux Factsheet

Cherry tree with a oozing slime flux lesion
 (Photo N. Goldberg) 

Willow tree infected with slime flux 
(Photo NMSU - PDC) 

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