Styrax infection- tree people

Asked March 25, 2020, 12:13 PM EDT

Hope you can help a novice arborist- Northern Virginia- customer says “snowball tree leaking sap”.. I say Styrax Japonica with infection.. I would like to be more specific and helpful than this. Fungal? Bacterial? Spread and impact? Treatments? Please see pic. Any help is much appreciated- be well, Bill

Fairfax County Virginia

1 Response

Hello Bill,

From the picture, it looks like a type of slime mold. Does the tree otherwise appear normal and healthy? I see slime molds quite frequently on the surface of bark mulch and they produce many, many spores. One of the most common ones you can search is called "Dog Vomit Fungus" which I know sounds very strange. Take a look online and see what you think. My first thought is that there are probably spores for slime mold in the mulch which could have easily blown up on the tree. This should not be a problem for the tree..other than the unsightly appearance for the short term. The problem should dry-up and change coloration fairly quickly. I would visit the site and see if you can lightly scrape some off without scraping into the wood. It should just be on the exterior of the wood. I don't think the tree would be bleeding this much. If so, there should be an obvious impact to the tree itself. I hope this is helpful and a good start. Let me know if you need more information of if I can be of additional assistance.