Port Oroford slime?

Asked December 26, 2017, 4:18 PM EST

I have a very large Port O that has a white mold/slime growing up it. The canopy on the tree is healthy, as is the trunk above the slime. Please help me identify this and what can I do to remove it. I love my tree and do not want to lose it! I live in Washngton county, Forest Grove, OR.
I know this tree is out of its range, as I've been told they typically grow in Southern Oregon/Northern Cali.
Thank you for your help...

Washington County Oregon

6 Responses

This is fungus growing in the bark and not something that can be washed off or removed. I'm not sure what it is though, based only on photos.
Port Orford cedars, (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) are susceptible to a root disease, Phytophthora lateralis. Because this tree is important to you, I recommend you hire a certified arborist, who is able to make a site visit, offer a diagnosis and discuss the prognosis for the tree with you. If diseased, trees do not always need to be removed immediately, as the location of buildings and progression of the disease need to be considered.
A qualified, ISA certified arborist is recommended because of the training they maintain. Ask companies if they have someone confident in diagnosing your type of tree, and be clear about the costs before you make an appointment.
Here are web pages from the Pacific Northwest ISA about choosing an arborist and finding one in your area:

We've already had an ISA certified arborist come out and $250 later his response was
"I don't know, it's a slime that I've never seen on a Port Oroford before.."
Ughhh, what now??

Oh no. "Wait and see" is often what we do with plants, especially if there isn't a treatment to offer. It just isn't a satisfying response if you are worried.
I will refer your question to our Forestry folks. I hope you'll hear from someone this week or next.

Do you know of somewhere I could send a sample of bark that has the fungus for testing?
Maybe we have a new species of slimey fungus that needs discovering ;)

Thank you so much Jackie. I look forward to hearing from the Forestry folks.

Hi. I'm one of the "Forestry Folks". I don't know what kind of fungus this is. It does NOT look like Phytophthera lateralis (Port-Orford-cedar root disease). I'm wondering if it is simply superficial on the bark, and the fungus is actually originating in the soil and just growing up the bark. If so, this probably wouldn't be a concern.
If it is actually a root or butt rot, and harming the tree, unfortunately, by the time we see fruiting bodies (what you are observing on the bark) there wouldn't be much that you could do at this point to reverse the damage. But, the fact that the tree overall looks healthy makes me doubt that this is what is going on.
Have you applied mulch around the base of the tree? It looks sort of like the tree is buried more deeply than would naturally occur - no evidence of the buttress roots jutting out at the base of the tree, as if they are buried. Changing the grade around the tree like this can cause root damage. Mulch is helpful to retain soil moisture and keep fine roots (around the dripline) healthy, but you should not apply it right up to the base of the tree.
I agree with Jackie, that a watch-and-wait approach is appropriate here. If you did want to try to get the fungus identified, the OSU Plant Clinic does analyze samples for a fee. Here is their information: http://plant-clinic.bpp.oregonstate.edu/

Jackie and Amy- thanks to you both for this valuable information.