What is tree sap used for?

Vanessa Richins Myers is a seasoned horticulturist, garden writer và educator with 10+ years of experience in the horticulture và gardening space.

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There are some trees that you should wait to lớn prune until later in the spring because they tend to bleed sap. What does this mean and should you be concerned? 


Why Do Trees Bleed Sap?

Much lượt thích the veins in our body, the tree's vascular system transports sap. This is a sugary liquid filled with water and nutrients that are carried throughout the tree via the phloem và xylem. Phloem carries nutrients from the leaves to lớn other parts of the plant, while xylem carries nutrients upwards from the roots.


Sap is produced in the leaves (or needles) of a tree & is distributed throughout the tree through the phloem, which runs vertically from top to bottom on the tree. If a cut is made in the trunk or a branch of a living tree, the cut severs some of the phloems, allowing the sap to lớn ooze out.


The amount of sap in the tree varies based on the time of year. In some varieties, the sap levels are especially high in early spring. If you make pruning cuts at that time, the tree may bleed sap. This isn't usually too much of an issue, but it's best lớn avoid it so you can prsự kiện problems lượt thích gummosis and tree decline.​


When to Prune

The best way lớn control bleeding sap is lớn prune at the right time for that particular species of tree. In general, this means that you want lớn prune deciduous trees that are prone khổng lồ bleeding after their leaves have sầu fully developed in late spring or early summer.

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If your pruning cut does bleed, just leave it alone. Don't paint or cover the wound. The one exception to this is if you have sầu an elm or oak tree that is bleeding. These are highly susceptible to lớn Dutch elm disease & oak wilt, respectively.


According lớn the U.S. Forest Service, applying pruning paint helps prsự kiện these diseases. In a Dutch elm, for instance, painting the pruned location will prevent elm bark beetles from being attracted khổng lồ the tree. It's a very important step in keeping your trees healthy.


Trees That Tend to Bleed Sap

If you have any of the following trees, it is very likely that they will bleed sap when pruned. To avoid this, be sure to research the proper times lớn prune each tree before you make the first cut.


Making Use of Tree Sap

Bleeding sap isn't always detrimental, and sometimes we can even put it khổng lồ good use. One of the best examples is when the sap is collected from maple trees each year, which is done by tapping the trunk of sugar maple. It can take up khổng lồ 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. The sap of birch trees also can be used to make syrup as well as homemade beverages, such as birch wine, birch mead, và birch beer (similar to lớn root beer).