What is on my tree and can I fix it?

Asked July 1, 2018, 3:04 PM EDT

I noticed this on my tree today. I’m scared the tree is dying since it’s close to my house.

Scott County Minnesota

2 Responses

We can't be sure what's shown in the photo. Sometimes it's necessary to be onsite to identify a problem.

However, based upon what we can see, we think the discoloration at the base of the tree could be slime mold or slime flux. The names are similar but they are different things.

Slime mold is a peculiar organism that often grows on mulch. If slime mold is present, consider it harmless. It's a transient curiosity. Go here to learn more about slime mold:

Slime flux is a kind of ooze formed when bacteria interact with sap. It looks like this:

Tree health is usually little affected by the presence of slime flux, sometimes called wet wood. If the tree as a whole looks healthy, there is little reason to be concerned. If you are unsure, ask a forester or certified arborist to assess the tree's health onsite and recommend a course of action. This advice also applies if you conclude that what's shown in the photo is neither slime mold nor slime flux.

Go here to learn about slime flux:

Thank you so much for your quick response! It does seem to be where sap could have fallen. Thank you. This made my day!