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Arbor-wellness: Stop the Sticky Sap

What can I do about sap dripping from my trees right now? 

Many property owners have trouble with sap dripping off of their trees onto their cars and walkways. This sticky substance can be difficult to remove, accumulate dirt, and attract flies and other annoying insects. This sticky substance isn’t sap but is honeydew, and despite the name it has no relation to the fruit. Honeydew is the excrement of plant-sucking insects such as aphids, scale and certain whiteflies. This dripping is a telltale sign of an insect infestation.

 

What trees are most susceptible?

Insect infestations that lead to honeydew are frequently found on ash, crepe myrtle, elm, hackberry, oak and sometimes maple, willow, and fruit trees.

 

Does the honeydew hurt my trees? 

Honeydew by itself is annoying and a hassle when it drips on objects or the ground but will typically not hurt your tree. The real concern with the tree is the amount of damage the insects do to the leaves. Insects typically feed on stressed trees first, so this can indicate overall poor tree health too.

 

Can you stop the dripping?

Yes, we have specific products that are quick, effective and safe to use. They usually stop the feeding within 24-48 hours. HOWEVER, if there is a lot of honeydew on the tree, the dripping may continue for a while. The best answer in this case is to carefully wash the tree with a water solution to remove as much of the sap as possible. Cleaning of the sidewalks or roads can be done with a soapy water solution. Once you call your Arborwell arborist, we can assess the needs and provide appropriate answers. Remember too that we can easily prevent this in the off season to prevent the problem for next year.

If you are concerned about any diseases or sap on your trees and want to schedule an inspection, fill out the form below.

 

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