Alternative name/s

Wet wood

Damage rating

Severe or fatal

Type of disease

Bacteria are often associated with fluxes and may enter through the wounds, although it is not known to what extent they cause the flux.

Slime flux disease

How to recognise it

The stem of an affected plant will ooze pink/yellow/off-white, unpleasant smelling slime (the ‘flux’) from cracks in the bark, which becomes whitish and chalky when dry. The slime, or flux, is likely to kill both the bark and any other plants (including grass) which they flow on to. The sap released in the process can attract fungal and bacterial diseases which may, as a result, cause the flux to thicken and discolour.

Where trees are affected, the crown may yellow and die back.

Why it’s a problem

The fluxes emitted are unpleasant and can affect surrounding plants. If not dealt with quickly, the die back will eventually kill the affected plant.

Where you are likely to find it

On trees, shrubs and clematis. May also affect other woody perennials.

How to prevent it

Avoid injury to stems and ensure any pruning is done cleanly and hygienically, so you do not provide damaged stems which can serve as an entry point for this disease.

How to get rid of it

If caught early enough, affected stems can be removed and destroyed before the disease spreads. Ensure the plant has optimal growing and hygiene conditions to encourage new stem growth. If it is not dealt with before it spreads then the plant should be removed and destroyed as there is no cure for the disease.

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