What is this smelly tar like substance leaking from my Oak tree?

What is this smelly tar like substance oozing from my Oak tree? Slime fluxWhat is this smelly tar like substance leaking from my Oak tree?

It is most likely ‘slime flux’ and it is a bacterial disease which in many cases does NOT cause long term or severe damage to the tree. Slime Flux Or Wetwood disease can affect Oaks, Tulip Populars, Elms, and Maples. There is nothing to do- really- just let the tree be and let nature takes it course.

When I first encountered this last year, I panicked but read all that I could and decided that leaving the tree be was best. I was right. My Oak Tree is fine but this slime kills any plants it comes in contact. I also read that the tree is less valuable as lumber which is not really a concern I have in my suburban yard. You can google ‘Slime Flux’ and read more about the bacteria which seems to occur in my zone 7 under extreme drought conditions. This year (2016) we are in a severe summer drought and I have noticed several Oaks on my walks through the wooded areas oozing. I will be watching and updating any information to you if this has any adverse affects on the trees.

The bacteria oozes out of cracks, splits, or injuries to the tree trunk and bark. My Oak tree developed Slime Flux last year I could not believe how awful smelling this disease is and how many insects were attracted to it. The tree healed within a month to 6 weeks. No adverse affects. I have seen trees develop this on different degrees and the tree pictured here has quite a stream going with signs of distress caused from the drought we are experiencing (leaves and branches wilting and leaves browning). What is this smelly tar like substance oozing from my tree? Slime Flux or Wetwood

In my experience with Slime Flux in Oaks, the trees heal themselves with no human interference. I suggest that you do not mound mulch up against the bark of any tree or shrub and be careful not to cause serious injury to the trunk of any tree with lawn equipment or tools. I looked up in my 70 year old gardening books and found that they state it is probably best to leave the tree be.

Thanks for stopping by and if you ever have a question, just ask and I will try to answer it.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

Sweet Autumn Clematis Gone Wild

Sweet Autumn Clematis gone wildSweet Autumn Clematis gone wild in many areas overtaking and overpowering native and non native plants, trees, and structures. In my subdivision (SE Virginia) the Sweet Autumn Clematis has overtaken many wooded areas climbing over and choking out the native Virgin’s Bower and other native trees and bushes such as Red Cedar and small Redbud trees.Sweet Autumn Clematis Gone Wild, Clematis terniflora, leaf identification

How can you tell the difference between Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) and native Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana) The leaves- Sweet Autumn Clematis has leaves with smooth edges while the Virgin’s Bower has toothed or jagged edges. Both of these vines bloom late summer through fall in zones 5-9, in sun to part shade, and will grow upwards of 30′. Sweet Autumn Clematis is fast growing, agressive, and a prolific reseeder!Sweet Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora, invasive vine

Sweet Autumn Clematis has such delicate beautiful white blooms and it is hard to imagine that such a delicate looking vine could choke out and kill the native Red Cedar it climbed up and entwined in its embrace. It is a beautiful vine but it has had deadly consquences in the wild. If you choose to plant this vine, just know that the seeds will float and reseed in neighboring flower beds and wooded areas. If this vine likes the conditions, you will be pulling and destroying to keep it from smothering your beautiful ornamental bushes, trees, and flowers. Sweet Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora, invasive vine, fall bloomer

Planting a garden is more than digging a hole and watering. It is about working with nature and being mindful of what you choose to grow and enjoy. Research before you buy and remember if the tag says “fast growing” this is a warning that it may have invasive tendencies.

Thanks for stopping by and soon I will update and create a new kind of blog here at the TheGardenFrog.me. Have a great day in the garden!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 C Renee Fuller


Water the Garden in the Morning

Water the garden in the morningWater the garden in the morning to prevent root rot, fungus, and even mold on your garden plants (and even lawn). I know this may contradict with some of the information you have been told or thought about watering the garden in the heat of summer. After all you do not want the water to evaporate in the hot sun as you water the plants. It also seems logical to think that watering at night, when the sun is going down, will help hold the moisture so the plants will soak up all the water for the next day…

Unfortunately, this is not what happens.

I decided to write this because the other day I went one of my girl/garden friend’s house where she showed me her cottage garden that was browning and looking rather sad. I had been there a few weeks earlier for a glass of lemonade sitting on the porch admiring the beautiful daisies, roses, and coneflowers…but now the garden was, well, dying. She was distraught and asked me “why did my beautiful daisies die? What is going on with my gardens?” So I asked questions and she said “my other friend who is a master gardener said it could be too much watering”. I said yes it could be (and water is usally the first thing I check) but the soil is not soggy so I walked around looking at her other annuals, perennials, and potted plants. I saw many of her plants were either drooping or turning black so I reached over to pull up what was left of the daisy plant and discovered there were no roots. So I said “maybe it is critters in the garden because voles eat roots” but something told me that was not it.Water your garden in the morning

So as we are walking around looking at the gardens and many of the plants were wilting, she said “oh I have to water the garden”. I said “water, now? it is getting dark”. She said “yes, I water every night and soak everything like my master gardener friend said”. I blurted out “I discovered your problem! It is root rot because you should never water at night”. She said “what? I thought watering at night helps the plants so the water doesn’t evarporate”.

I felt so bad telling her that you should never water the garden at night and that you should water your garden in the morning to avoid root rot, fungus, moss, mold, and other garden issues. My garden/girl friend was almost in tears and so I spent the next several minutes comforting her as she was almost in tears knowing that she killed many plants in her garden. I tried to console her and told her that I did this many years ago before I learned that watering your garden at night was a no-no.IMG_20150828_160308

I want to say that all gardeners make mistakes and we learn what works in our gardens. I have learned many things by trial and error and that is why I started blogging- to share my experiences with you. I feel very blessed to have my green thumbs and love that I can work with nature to grow beautiful flowers and plants. I love attracting the birds, bees, and butterflies. I get excited looking out my window to see the hummingbird dining at the feeder. Hummingbird pose

If you ever have a gardening question or just want to share an experience, check out The Garden Frog Boutique Facebook page and watch every day as I share my garden, my projects, and other interesting posts and information. You can even contact me there too!

Thanks for stopping by and you can check out my other blog The Garden Frog Boutique where I share more projects both home and garden and even a few recipes every so often. Talk to you later and happy gardening!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 Copyrighted material C Renee Fuller




The Wild, Untamed Trumpet Vine

The wild untamed Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Creeper, hummingbird magnetThe wild, untamed Trumpet Vine is an agressive but beneficial vine in nature. From June through September, the orange to red almost 3″ long trumpet shaped flowers of this native vine supply food for the hummingbirds. It is a vine used very often for pergolas and arbors because of its fast growth and pretty clusters of bright orange/red flowers. The Trumpet Vine grows in zones 4-9 will spread by seed, underground runners, and suckers from the base of the main plant.

The fast growth of this Southeastern U.S. native will keep any gardener busy chopping and cutting back the vines and runners to keep it in its place. The Trumpet Vine has its place in the wild where it can grow and reach 50’s from its base. I caution anyone who plants this agressive vine near any ornamental trees or other plants that could get choked by the twining of the vines. This is not a vine to plant and leave!The wild untamed Trumpet Vine, Trumpet creeper, hummingbird magnet, native flower

The Trumpet Vine is wild and untamed. If you choose to plant it, then take caution in where you plant it and take steps to collect seed pods before they open (because the pods will dry and open to reveal winged seeds that get carried away by the wind). You could spend time trenching around the base of the Trumpet Vine every couple weeks to cut of any underground runners and pruning the vines to keep them in check. There are ways that you can keep it in check but it will require time and energy.

The Trumpet Vine will grows and blooms best in full sun where it will bloom profusely. It grows in the woods under the canopies of mighty Oak trees. However, there may not be any blooms. It adapts to any soil and will grow well in dry areas. The Trumpet Vine grows rather well here in the red clay soil of Virginia (zone 7). Wild, untamed Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Creeper, native vine, hummingbird flower

So if you fall in love with the idea of covering a pergola with a Trumpet Vine, keep in mind this is a vine that gets heavy as it twines itself on the structure. It will take a bit of extra time to keep this vine in check and Trumpet Vines will grow along the ground or 50′ up an Oak Tree. I confess, I would plant this along a fence line or on an old barn to attract the hummingbirds and take my chances with its wild and untamed growth.

Thanks for stopping by and remember gardening is about working with nature.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller