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Oak tree foam

edited 14 June at 2:10PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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testertrevtestertrev Forumite
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edited 14 June at 2:10PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Just a quick question.  Whilst tidying round the oak tree in my garden I noticed a small strip of foam rising up from the base.  There were a couple of wasps mooching about by the foam and a very strong smell of cider.  The ground by the base was also wet and strong smelling  I'm pretty sure that nothing has l lodged by the base and fermented so was wondering what it could be. Anyone have any ideas? TIA

EDIT:  Found it I think
This is a sign of a bacterial disease called slime flux (also called foamy canker, alcoholic flux, or wetwood)

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  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    Yuck! There are a lot of problems at the moment I think maybe because of the winter soaking, extended dry and hot so early in the year and now more wet.

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  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Apparently, it's not too bad:https://shadetreeexpert.com/tree-diseases/

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  • Hi, 

    We had an oak that had the symptoms you describe (although the scarring/foam started about 6ft up iirc) I asked 2 arborists if it was a problem, one said it was nothing to worry about,  the other said it was oak decline. It was unfortunately oak decline, it still stood and came into leaf for a couple of years and then it didn’t. After some storms my husband noticed that there was a huge crack going up the center of the trunk so we had it felled safely.  Butterflies and squirrels love the foam! 

    If I had my time again I would take it down at the first sign of not coming properly into leaf - I hope it isn’t the case for your tree, but something to keep an eye out for.
  • edited 23 June at 1:03PM
    testertrevtestertrev Forumite
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    edited 23 June at 1:03PM
    Hi, 

    We had an oak that had the symptoms you describe (although the scarring/foam started about 6ft up iirc) I asked 2 arborists if it was a problem, one said it was nothing to worry about,  the other said it was oak decline. It was unfortunately oak decline, it still stood and came into leaf for a couple of years and then it didn’t. After some storms my husband noticed that there was a huge crack going up the center of the trunk so we had it felled safely.  Butterflies and squirrels love the foam! 

    If I had my time again I would take it down at the first sign of not coming properly into leaf - I hope it isn’t the case for your tree, but something to keep an eye out for.
    Its got a TPO on it and its a PITA every spring and autumn so I wouldn't be too sad if it had to go!  Due to have it 'trimmed' so I'll ask the question then, part of the base does sound a bit hollow when you tap but not all the way round.  May be the start of decline possibly. 


  • testertrev said:Its got a TPO on it and its a PITA every spring and autumn so I wouldn't be too sad if it had to go!  Due to have it 'trimmed' so I'll ask the question then, part of the base does sound a bit hollow when you tap but not all the way round.  May be the start of decline possibly. 
    Ours was TPO’d too and it was actually the council arborist who diagnosed oak decline... he was visiting checking out 23 hideous conifers which hadn’t been maintained in decades! Our neighbours really appreciated it when they came down, along with the dead Elm...
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