While unsightly, slime flux is nonlethal tree disease

Q: I have two paloverde trees in front of my house. One seems to be fine while the other has struggled for four years. I am told the tree is healthy, but every summer it leaks white, sticky foam from the trunk. This foam attracts bees and beetles. The tree has received professional borer treatments twice a year, but it’s still bad.

A: Save your money. This is not an insect problem. It is a disease problem, but a disease that will not kill the tree. Let me explain.

You mentioned bees and beetles are attracted to this foam. I am 99 percent sure, based on the picture you sent and your description, this is a disease called slime flux, sometimes called bacterial wetwood. It is a nonlethal disease to the tree. It attacks only dead or dying wood inside the core of the tree.

Nonliving wood inside the tree cannot fight off disease microorganisms because it is dead. The only microorganisms which feed on this wood are saprophytes. Similar microorganisms feed in compost piles and convert raw waste into compost.

These microorganisms do not feed on living parts of the tree because living parts of healthy trees can fight back. Bacteria involved with slime flux create a foam with a characteristic smell of fermenting yeast or brewing beer. This yeasty smell attracts flies, bees and other insects such as beetles because this smell resembles rotting or fermenting fruit.

Normally, this disease bothers us because of these insects and its general ugliness. It does not hurt the tree. It may bother us because the foam dripping down the trunk of the tree causes discoloration of the trunk and unsightliness.

Probably this infection was transferred to this tree by unsanitary pruning practices. I always emphasize sanitizing and sharpening pruning equipment. When a tree is infected with a disease, it is extremely important to sanitize the pruning equipment before pruning a new tree. There is no cure for this problem. You and the tree must live with it.

Some arborists may drill a hole into the tree trunk and insert a metal tube just below the foam and sticks out of the trunk. This foam drains inside the tube and drips to the ground without touching the trunk. Make sure any tools and equipment that touch the inside of the tree have been sanitized thoroughly.

Q: I’ve read somewhere that you should not place black plastic under rock used for desert landscaping. I have it there. We are an older couple and cannot remove it easily. Can we do anything else?

A: Using plastic under rock mulch in desert landscapes prevents air from reaching the roots. Roots need water, but they also need to breathe. Black plastic is not permanent while rock is. Sooner or later, this black plastic will begin poking through the rock mulch as it is punctured and disintegrates.

Consider punching air holes through the plastic at the base of trees and other plants to help air reach the roots. The downside of this recommendation is it may cause the black plastic to rip and disintegrates sooner, peaking its ugly head through the rock.

Don’t think you have to remove all this plastic at once. If you see some sticking up through the rocks, remove it until more appears.

A more expensive option instead of plastic is called a weed barrier. This is spun or woven material that breathes, allowing air and water movement.

I personally don’t particularly like weed barriers because they do not prevent many of our most troubling weeds like common Bermuda grass and nutgrass. Instead, I would recommend spending a little bit more money on rock mulch and applying it thicker, perhaps 3 to 4 inches deep instead of 2 inches.

Q: I see you mention a specific iron product every year, but I decided to buy it for use early next spring. We prefer to buy it online. When I searched for it, about 80 choices appeared and now I am confused.

A: Not many places stock this iron fertilizer locally. Helena Chemical and Viragrow are the only places I know locally that carry it. When buying it online, use the keywords “iron,” “fertilizer” and “EDDHA.”

I have been waiting for an excuse to explain this iron dilemma more thoroughly. Using the wrong iron product when the chemistry of the soil or water is not right, results in a waste of time and money.

The chemistry of our desert soils is responsible for most yellowing seen in plant leaves. You are right, there is a huge variety of iron products available. Which one to use? The problem is not with the product. The problem is matching the product to our soils because of their chemistry.

There are two methods for applying iron to yellow plants: a single application to the soil in early spring or three to four applications of an iron spray directed toward yellowing leaves later in the season.

A single iron fertilizer application to the soil makes green leaves continuously as the plant grows through the year. Multiple sprays of iron to the leaves is the only method that corrects leaves already yellow. Each spray, a few days to a week apart, makes the leaves darker and darker.

All iron fertilizers work if the soil pH (which is related to its alkalinity) is 7.5 or lower. If an iron product is applied to the soil and expected to work, the soil pH must be 7.5 or lower. If an iron product is mixed with water and sprayed on the leaves, the pH of the water must be 7.5 or lower.

The magic number to remember is 7.5. Most desert soils and our water supplies are closer to 8. This becomes a problem for all iron products except one.

Iron fertilizers that contain the chelate EDDHA are 100 percent effective with any amount of alkalinity. That’s right, any amount. But the chelate in the ingredients must be EDDHA.

When applying iron fertilizer to soils in early spring, just before new growth appears, use an iron fertilizer containing the chelate EDDHA. It will tell you so in the ingredients.

Later in the growing season when leaves begin yellowing, all iron fertilizers sprayed on the leaves work if the pH of the water is below 7.5. Use distilled water or water from reverse osmosis. This water has little alkalinity and a pH of 7.

It’s difficult to get iron sprays inside the leaves. Leaves have no roots, so we must improve the movement of this iron spray inside the leaf. This is done by “making the water wetter.” Adding a liquid detergent to the spray at the very end of mixing helps the movement of the iron inside the leaf.

Q: I’m not sure if the branch at the bottom of my lemon is a sucker or a real branch. I know if it comes from below the graft to remove it, but I can’t see where it comes from exactly. The leaves from this growth are huge, too. It’s about 6 to 8 inches from the soil.

A: Look for long thorns. The rootstock used for citrus in our climate is usually sour orange, which produces an extremely sour, nonedible citrus fruit. It has huge thorns, up to 2 inches long.

If this growth does not have thorns, or if they are small, it is probably lemon. The sucker is right on the edge, but I think it is coming from the scion (lemon).

If you apply compost to the tree as it is growing, it may make some huge leaves. If you use compost as a fertilizer, apply it each year after you harvest the fruit. Water it in thoroughly.

If you applied woodchips to the soil beneath the tree, apply it in a larger area under the tree as the tree gets bigger. Apply enough so it is at least 4 inches deep. Keep woodchips 6 inches from the trunk or it can rot it.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert and professor emeritus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to Extremehort@aol.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Las Vegas charter school excels in areas of greatest need
Mater Academy Mountain Vista charter school students excel despite the fact that half the students are English language learners and all qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New MLK freeway onramps
How to navigate the trio of new freeway onramps from Martin Luther King Boulevard. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Extreme weather closes Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon
High winds and flooding closed the Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area Thursday. Minor flooding across Highway 159 caused drivers to slow, but didn't close the road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Life
Barber sets up shop in grandfather’s old shop
Andres Dominguez’s new barber shop is filled with memories of his grandfather, who ran the El Cortez landmark for more than 30 years. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like