Help White Foam coming out of my Oak Tree!!!

kmallen(z5 NE)June 4, 2006

We just noticed last week that there was this white foam coming out of our oak tree about a foot above where the mulch is. From far away I thought it was bird poop but when I got closer, I touched it, and obviously it wasn't. Since we have noticed it there, there has been two other areas that have had foam coming out but have since dried up, but this first area is still the same. The foam is sweet smelling and the bugs seem to like it. I hope someone knows what it might be or can give me some type of direction. I appreciate any information!!

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Google "Bacterial wetwood"

Here is a link that might be useful: Bacterial Wetwood

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 9:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yep. Nothing you can do but keep your plant as happy as possible. I see that you have a mulch layer down. Make sure that chips are NOT piled up against the trunk but are spread in as wide an area as possible over the root system (which is actually well beyond the drip line). Keep the plant well watered during periods of drought, too.

Plants can actually live with this systemic disorder for a long time and not succumb until stress kicks in. Heat and drought can be a problem.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 9:35PM
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Sounds like tree sap if it's sweet smelling. If it were a bacterial ooze it would smell rather foul.
Possible you may have some type of borer or other critter attacking the tree which caused a wound allowing sap to flow.
Another possibility could be Oak Wilt (a vascular disease)...the fungus produces a sweet smelling sap that attracts sap-feeding beetles and other bugs, squirrels, etc. Then these beetles/creatures pass the infection on to healthy trees to feed on sap from un-infected wounds. The disease does spread in Nebraska.
You can google for more info on Oak Wilt. But here is one article. Oak wilt is discussed under the last main heading.


Here is a link that might be useful: American Forests

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 10:02PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Much more likely to be bacterial wetwood (also called slime flux). There are different kinds of bacteria that will colonize within trees, and some of them are more likely to produce a 'flux' that is fermented and yeasty. Many people describe the smell as sweet or even like beer! Insects will be attracted to this like crazy!

What is the over all condition of the tree? Stand back and look at the canopy from a distance.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 12:16PM
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kmallen(z5 NE)

Well, that is a good question. Our tree is on the East side of the house and it seems to be growing crooked towards the north. It seems to loose it's leaves last compared to the other trees in the neighborhood, and the leaves come in last in the spring. I'm not sure if I answered the question or what else I could describe about the tree. Here is a picture if it helps.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 11:39PM
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I got a question too... i have a tree stump with white foam coming out of it and it seems to be migrating to my lawn(which is quite far from the stump. I have tons of little ants too. I am very very new to this whole garden thing(we just bought the house) and i am worried this may be a bigger problem then i know.. PLease help me too ..HOW CAN I GET RID OF IT????

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 12:01AM
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