Why is Sap Dripping from my Tree? Can I Stop it?

By: albertaarb - May 18, 2018

All trees produce sap, but some are more likely to leak than others


The Origins of Sap

Picture this. You’re walking around your wonderfully cared-for lawn or property during a nice summer day, and you decide to rest against a tree to take it all in. It’s a wonderful feeling of oneness with nature, until something strange and sticky on your shoulder ruins the moment. Sap dripping from trees is a natural function, but chances are that it’s not one that you appreciate. Here’s how to stop it from happening.

What Is Sap?

When you have something as large as an older tree, it takes a lot of work to even distribute the nutrients that said trees need to survive. The role of sap is to make sure that this happens, carrying water and hormones as well. All trees produce sap to some degree, but some stand apart in terms of sap production. One standout here is maple trees. Sap harvested from sugar maples is a key component of maple syrup.

Why Would I Want to Get Rid of Sap?

This particular question is a bit of a misleading one. If you care about your tree, you don’t want to get rid of sap at all. This is an essential part of keeping your tree healthy, the same way blood is for the human body. However, much like blood, the sap is supposed to stay on the inside. As mentioned before, certain tree types are more likely to bleed sap than others. Along with the maples, elm trees and honey locust trees fall into this category. In terms of what causes sap dripping from a tree, it can vary. The common reasons are much of the root causes when it comes to tree issues. These include excessive pruning, damage, pests, and diseases.

How to Stop a Tree from Dripping Sap

If you have a tree that’s predisposed to dripping sap, you want to take extra care in terms of when you prune it, making sure to do it during the proper season. For example, conifers pruned during the dormant season generally don’t produce sap. If your issues are coming from other sources, in many cases, stepping up your tree care regimen will help with your sap issues as well. For example, try to minimize tree stress in order to ensure that insects don’t feed on the trees and cause sap leakage.


Sap can come from many sources, and the right professional tree service will help you deal with all of them.

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