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Heavy sap drip doesn’t harm trees, but the messiness can be avoided, say Florida tree care experts.

When to Trim Florida Trees that Have Heavy Sap Drip

Florida is known for its great weather and its lush flora. When it comes to landscaping, there are many trees that, despite helping to increase property value, are more challenging to care for than others. During the spring, some trees tend to leak sap. Now sap is not just water, it is full of nutrients and hormones that the tree uses throughout its leaves and branches. 

So, if a tree is losing sap, is that like a person bleeding? Fortunately, no. Sometimes sap drip can even be an indication of good tree health. However, there’s a lot more to know than just that – read on for insights from tree service experts. 

What is Sap Drip?

Have you ever seen the movie, Jurassic Park? In the original movie from the 1990s, there is a scene that shows a mosquito landing on a tree and being stuck in a viscous and sticky liquid flowing down the tree. This was a demonstration of sap drip. It is merely the phenomenon of sap leaking from a tree’s interior. This often happens when trimming trees. All trees have some form of sap, but each species’ sap looks a bit different. Color and consistency vary, but there are a few things that all kinds of sap have in common:

  • Sap is generally sticky.
  • Sap is full of nutrients and sugars.
  • Sap contains hormones created by the tree. 
  • Sap flows throughout the tree.
  • Sap is more active when the tree is more active as during the growing season.

When Does it Happen and What Should You Do?

Sap drip happens most often in the spring and it can make a serious mess.  The bark can be sticky and the sap is often difficult to remove from hands, clothing, and lawn furniture. The thing is, sap drip can actually be demonstrating that the tree is healthy. Sap drip is not harmful and a person should not try to prevent it or stop it. The best way to manage sap drip is to avoid trimming trees that are known to have heavy drips during the height of the growing season. 

Tree trimming in spring is not the best for the tree anyway. Trimming in the late summer or early fall works for most trees, but some do better with trimming or tree pruning in the winter when they are fully dormant.

Common Florida Tree Species With Heavy Sap and When to Trim 

There are several trees in this area of the country that are known for their sap drip and so these are definitely ones that are best trimmed later. Here are a few examples of trees in Florida that have heavy sap drip and when an arborist would approve of a limb trim:

  • Maple Trees: These trees are renowned for their sugary sap for maple syrup. They should be trimmed in the middle of summer to avoid sap drip.
  • Avocado Trees: You can avoid this tree’s white and sticky sap by trimming it in the winter.
  • Magnolia Trees: The sap of the magnolia is very thick and is known as honeydew. Trimming and pruning from mid-summer to early fall helps avoid a sticky mess.
  • Willow Trees:  Willows should be trimmed or pruned in the winter.

About Any Town Tree

Any Town Tree is where safety comes first. Homeowners in Naples, FL know that we are the one to call when it comes to the dangerous work of tree removal. Call today for a free quote and discuss a tree risk assessment with a certified arborist.