Tree Disease Control: Treating Trees Infected with Slime Flux

Tree disease control service — when performed by a certified Utah arborist — can help your trees overcome the effects of slime flux.
Tree disease
Also known as wetwood, slime flux is a common bacterial disease that infects many popular northern Utah species, including elm, poplar, dogwood, maple, beech and willow. The bacteria gains entry through wounds from boring insects, improper pruning, broken branches and unintentional injuries by lawnmowers and construction equipment.

With professional tree disease control, wetwood isn’t always a serious problem, and certified arborists have the skills to identify, manage and prevent slime flux.

How to Identify Slime Flux Disease

As the name of this tree disease suggests, slime is a major sign of an infection.

The slime — which has a rather foul odor — oozes from the trunk and runs down the bark. As it dries, a white or pale gray crust may be left behind. Slime seepage usually peaks in the summer, when the bacteria are most active.

Wetwood can also appear as dark brown or black streaks on the trunk or branches, and signs of stress — like wilting, leaf scorch, premature leaf drop and branch dieback — may be noticeable in cases of extreme infection.

How to Manage Slime Flux Disease

The best way to manage wetwood is to maintain the tree’s overall health. With proper care, an infected tree can grow strong enough to isolate and seal off the wounds, mitigating the effects of the disease.

Years ago, drilling a hole in the infected trunk area and inserting a short pipe was common practice. This was done to relieve the internal pressure and direct the slime flow. Now, however, certified arborists rarely drill holes, as it usually does more harm than good.

Tips to Prevent Slime Flux Disease

Healthy trees can conquer wetwood, but certified arborists recommend the following to prevent wetwood from taking hold:

  • Plant trees in locations with little soil compaction from pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Take care to guard against environmental stresses, including drought and extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid injuring your trees — keep lawn care and construction equipment a safe distance away.
  • Treat fresh trunk wounds by carefully removing injured bark.
  • Promptly remove weak and dead branches to eliminate avenues of infection.
  • When trimming or pruning are needed, hire a certified arborist to ensure proper techniques are used.

If you’re worried about wetwood and other tree diseases, contact the certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care.

With over 20 years of experience, the Reliable Tree Care crew has the skill, knowledge and expertise to provide effective strategies for managing and preventing the many tree diseases found in northern Utah. For a free, no-pressure comprehensive yard evaluation and slime flux tree disease control consultation, contact our Murray office today.