How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Foamy canker or alcoholic flux

Some species of bacteria or other microorganisms cause a white frothy material to exude from cracks or holes in bark, commonly on elm, oak, sweet gum, or Victorian box. This foamy material appears for only a short time during warm weather and has an alcoholic or fermented odor. In severely infected trees, the cambium beneath the bark may become rotten, white, mushy, and eventually turn brown and die. The cause of this malady is unknown. It is sometimes, but not always, associated with Zymomonas bacteria.



Preventing injuries to bark may help to prevent this disease. Prune out infected tissue when it is limited to a small area of the bark to allow wounds to close; avoid making large wounds. Severely affected trees need to be removed.

Foamy canker on almond
Foamy canker on almond

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/GARDEN/PLANTS/DISEASES/foamycanker.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.