I inherited a tree that suffered from slime flux (bacterial wetwood). It had sores on the trunk that oozed liquid and foam, and the run-off created a smelly puddle at the base of the tree. The stink is what originally alerted me to the problem.

I removed the tree and want to repurpose the area to plant some young semi-dwarf citrus trees for fruit production. I'm worried about the soil, though. Could the flux run-off have left bacteria or other junk in the soil? Should I treat the soil before planting anything new?

1 Answer 1


It depends on how much time has passed since you removed the diseased tree.

The unpleasant odor of slime flux is due to infection. Slime flux is toxic to a tree when fresh. However, in the soil it will decay over time.

While planting a new tree, it is recommended that the upper layer of the soil is turned over and fertilizers applied. If no visible residue of the slime flux remain in the soil, this initial preparation of soil should be enough. Otherwise, more thorough treatment including removal of some soil which contains the slime flux residue might be required.

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