Possible Bacterial Wetwood



I bought a Freeman Maple Tree last year which was planted as a memorial tree for my Mother in late September. I have looked at it this spring and while it looks like it has plenty of buds, there is also quite a bit of sap weeping down one side of the tree, which is attracting ants and midges. I’m wondering if there is any possibility this is just sap leaking, or if the tree has Bacterial Wetwood. I really don’t want to have to remove the tree and return it as it was a memorial tree, and it is enormous and it won’t be fun to dig out. However, if it is likely infected and it will have an impact then I want to return it to the nursery now while it is still covered under their return policy. Is there a way to determine for sure if it’s Bacterial Wetwood? Or am I being silly in my optimism by hoping that there’s another explanation?


Hello and thank you for contacting us.

This is a very delicate question as I realize that the tree has an emotional connection and you would like to keep it if at all possible.

Unfortunately, it would appear that your Freeman Maple does indeed have Bacterial Wetwood. Although this disease does not usually kill the tree, it does remove some of its vigour. However, there are various steps you can take, such as fertilizing to stimulate vigorous growth and lessen the severity of the disease. It is important not to overfertilize as this could increase the tree’s susceptibility to the disease. Proper pruning also encourages rapid callousing of the wounds. Remove any loose or diseased bark around the area and let the area dry. Then make a clean cut around the wound to facilitate healing. Do not apply a wound dressing.

Please see the links below for more information:



Alternatively, you could contact the nursery where you bought the tree and see what they recommend. You also mentioned that it is still covered under their return policy which gives you an opportunity to exchange it if necessary. I do wish you all the best.