Oak – Slime Flux | Walter Reeves: The Georgia Gardener

I read this article on line written by The Georgia Gardener and thought I would share.  If you have been  dealing with the awful summer heat like we have been here in Cincinnati then you have come across a host of problems in the garden.  Sometimes I am so worried about the veggies and flowers I miss paying attention to our beautiful trees.  Thanks to reading Walters article  I’ll be doing a walk around the yard now to keep my eyes open for any problems.  Or maybe I should watch my hive for any drunken bees? 🙂  Speaking of drunken bees….. my friend Leslie doctored up my photo from my Peach Slush Martini and sent it to me, and I LOVED it so I thought I would share.  Thanks Leslie!!  SO CUTE!  Read on…..

Back to the article…..  Thanks Walter for sharing.  Visit him at The Georgia Gardener.


“My oak tree is oozing beer!” Homeowners often follow their noses to the base of an oak tree to find a puddle of yeasty smelling liquid. The ooze is usually surrounded by insects, some of whom seem inebriated!

The condition is a common one on large oaks, poplars and maples. It can happen on any tree which has been planted too deeply, burying the lower trunk.

The oozing is called “slime flux” and is caused by a bacterial infection inside the trunk. There are actually two types of slime flux: “alcoholic” and “acidic”. The acidic flux smells like vinegar.

The infection can be in a wound on the trunk surface or it can be deeper inside the trunk. In either case, bacteria ferment the tree’s sap; it seeps out and down to the ground. Sweet-eating insects (wasps, bees, yellow jackets) would obviously be attracted to the damaged area.

There is no treatment for the condition. The best thing to do is to wash off the trunk to discourage bugs. Mix one-eighth cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water to make a final rinse. The flow of sap is periodic; it may disappear and not reoccur or you may see it every year.

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Categories: Gardening, Summer

Author:Amy Stafford

I am the author, photographer and creator behind the blog A Healthy Life For Me. I am a food and fitness nut who loves Crossfit, Chocolate and Organic Gardening.

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2 Comments on “Oak – Slime Flux | Walter Reeves: The Georgia Gardener”

  1. A Table in the Sun
    August 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    I love your photoshopped bee. Cute!

    • August 7, 2012 at 7:35 am #

      Thanks. It made me chuckle!

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