If you have ever found yourself in a forest or otherwise around pine trees, then you may have noticed that some of them are coated in places with a sticky sap. If you are not an expert in dendrology – the study of trees – then you may not understand where this sap comes from or why it is produced. Let’s learn about the wonders of tree sap and how and why it is produced.
What Is Sap?
Before we get into the “why” of sap, we should probably talk about the “what.” What is this sticky substance? In scientific terms, sap is the fluid that is carried through the xylem cells of a tree. In some ways, you can think of this as being almost like the blood of the tree. Sap is made up water and miscellaneous minerals and nutrients, and sap production is affected by the weather, as Gardening Know How notes.
In warmer weather, pressure is created from the production of carbon dioxide, which can cause sap to flow through gaps or openings. During the winter, trees pull water up through their roots, and its sap capacity is replenished, though spring sun and temperatures can impact the flow of this sap and lead to leaking or weeping spots on the tree.
So Why Do Trees Produce Sap?
In a nutshell, the primary reason that blue spruces and other pine trees produce sap that we can see – and possible get stuck on us – is because the tree is responding to wounds. These can come from a variety of sources, whether pests or disease that lead to exposed areas or from just routing pruning that trims overgrowth, as SFGate reports.
Whenever a tree has such an injury, sap will exude from these cuts. It is a natural response, and nothing to worry about, but it is a fascinating natural phenomena. The sap works much like a scab, protecting the affected area and allowing the tree to heal. Once it has done its job, sap production will trail off, and any remaining sap will dissipate.
If you see a lot of sap coming from your trees, it could be a sign of larger damage or more extensive issues. This could be as the result of beetle damage or fungal cankers that can cause trees to weep from gaps or even through the bark. Your tree could also have been damaged by lawnmowers or weed whackers, which is a sign that you should be more careful with your lawn care regimen.
At Spruce Point Tree Farm, we provide healthy blue spruce trees to landscapers and wholesale and retail nurseries throughout Colorado. Our trees are some of the most gorgeous blue spruce trees in the state, and range in height from 6 feet to 20-foot trees ready to be planted as the centerpiece of a home or business lawn. Learn more – including where you can find our trees near you – by calling us today at 970-379-2241.