Silme flux, often referred to as bacterial wetwood infection, is a disease found in many types of trees in the Ogden and Layton Utah area. Siberian elm trees, willows trees, and many other trees are susceptible to this type of infection.

Symptoms The symptoms are generally a frothy substance or a dripping from a fork in the tree branches as seen in the picture above. The slime sap is foul smelling and unpleasant.

Types In Utah, there are two types of slime flux–heartwood slime flux and bark/cambial slime flux.

Heartwood slime flux This type occurs when bacteria attaching the heartwood results in high pressure inside the tree. This can result in the tree literally bursting and infection oozes out through cracks that come from the middle of the tree to the outside bark area. This slime flux drips on the grass and other plants and kills whatever it lands on, leaving yellow patches in the grass. Trees are rarely killed with this type of infection but it is unpleasant and it does weaken the tree. This is very common in elms trees.

Bark/cambial slime flux infection This type of infection usually kills the tree within 1-2 years and is common in willows. If the fluxing is noticed soon enough, the tree can be saved. White ash are also prone to this near surface bark/cambial flux and it is often manifested in a foamy alcohol flux this is milky in its appearance.

A starting point is to identify what type of tree you have.

Heartwood infections are common in the following trees:

Elm Trees

Cottonwood Trees

Poplar Trees

Boxelder Trees

Russian Olive Trees

Ash Trees

On the other hand, the more dangerous bark/cambial infections are common in the following trees:

Bark/Cambial Infections are common in:

Willow Trees

Ash Trees

Apen Trees

Poplar Trees

Mulberry Trees

Whatever the infection, it is crucial to have an expert tree arborist inspect it as soon as possible to identify the type of infection and whether or not there is a cure. Our Ogden and Layton Utah arborists will inspect your tree free of charge and educate you on what the best course of action is for your tree.