Tree Poo

IMG_2923 (2)I love to learn a new word, or in this case two new words.  Slime Flux.  How fantastic is that?  Slime Flux.  And I got to see it as well.  Slime Flux.  And I heard grisly tales of how it can spurt out of a tree like the fountain from hell and smells as rank as rank can be.  Slime Flux.  It was a good day.

I suppose I had better reveal all.  The tree surgeons came to town today and spent their time doing things not to be recommended unless your name is Spider Man, or at a push one of the other more accomplished super heroes.  A sycamore seedling which had become a sycamore adult had to be removed from the cliff edge after many years of pruning and growing and pruning and growing.  It was this very same tree that did the spewing of the hadean gunk or as it was eloquently described by one of the super heroes, the tree poo.  Slime flux, or bacterial wetwood (I will spare you the Latin name), is a bacterial disease that enters the victim through a wound of some description, it could be a pruning scar or mechanical damage.  The pressure that builds up inside the tree causes it to weep odorous sap; this pressure also means that if you cut into the tree the noxious substance dramatically shoots out all over the unsuspecting arborist.  So these lads, who spent a large proportion of the day dangling off a cliff, not only had to put up with hail, thunder and lighting and an annoying curious observer, the trees themselves were fighting back!  They said they were returning tomorrow; I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t bother.

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13 thoughts on “Tree Poo

  1. Very interesting! I just did a Google search to see if it is primarily sycamores that are affected, but it can also occur in maples, elms, poplars, etc.. I do believe I’ve seen the aftereffects in some old poplars – I just didn’t know the cause.

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