Maple Tree in Trouble

Asked May 17, 2020, 8:43 PM EDT

Our large maple tree has holes appearing in the trunk, in two places, with white streaks traveling down the trunk. Need help identifying what might be causing this. How serious this might be. And what we could do, if anything, to stop this. Any help would be much appreciated.

Jackson County Michigan

1 Response

This looks like an elm tree with what is called slime flux. Elms have flat rounded seeds and maples have long winged seeds that start off in pairs. Elms are notorious for getting slime flux also called wetwood. It is an internal bacterial infection that gets in through injured areas, such as old pruning wounds. Since it is internal to the tree it is not controllable. Bacteria growing in the wood creates pressure and this frothy liquid seeps out of the tree. You can see how it stains the bark, turning it a white to gray. Overtime the internal wood will rot. A long time back arborists used to put tubes into trees to drain the ooze away from the tree but that is no longer seen as answer to help the tree. Try to help the tree during stressful drought periods during the summer to maintain the plants vigor.