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The 7 Trees That Drip The Most Stuff (Sap)

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All trees form sap, a sticky substance that contains many essential nutrients for healthy plant life. However, there are species that produce sap in large quantities and might start dripping it depending on certain pests and diseases. Although sap residue is a fairly normal occurrence in many trees, gardeners might have a problem to tackle if their tree bleeds too much sticky stuff. If you’re interested in figuring out which trees release the most sap, take a close look at the following list. Consider avoiding them if you wish to prevent the sticky residue from getting onto your property.



1. Maple Trees

Maple Trees During Autumn




There are lots of types of maple trees in the world and all are known for producing excessive amounts of sap. This isn’t always a bad thing considering how this is the same sticky residue used to produce maple syrup. The sugar maple tree is able to drip a lot of sap but only when the trunk is wound in a dormant state. That’s how the sweet sap is extracted to produce the concentrated syrup commercially through evaporation.



2. Birch Trees

Birch Trees Near Lake




Birches are also capable of producing quite a lot of sap though it’s not as sweet as the one from maples. The sticky stuff is harvested for many kinds of purposes. You can create syrups but also beverages like wine and beer with the help of birch sap. Most species of birch tend to grow as single-trunk trees but there are some varieties that form multiple trunks or even grow as clusters of shrubs. You can identify a birch tree most easily by the characteristic white or varicolored bark style.



3. Elm Trees

Elm Trees During Autumn




Trees in the Ulmaceae family can drip a lot of sap but there’s usually a good reason for it. Elms that experience bark damage or wounds to their limbs will produce extra sticky residue in response. Keep in mind that pruning can also cause stress to the tree leading to an excess of sap dripping out. Although the common American elm has been gravely affected by a fungal disease, trees have been making a comeback through more disease-resistant varieties.



4. Honey Locusts

Honey Locust Tree Branch




Whether through an injury or improper pruning, honey locusts can also bleed sap in excess. These trees are part of the pea family and feature branching thorns and inconspicuous flower clusters. Honey locusts are frequently used in North America for ornamental reasons but the species becomes invasive in other locations. Thornless varieties exist and provide multiple benefits that make the trees practical for city use.



5. Walnut Trees

Large Walnut Tree




All walnut tree species such as the black walnut or the English walnut can be considered vulnerable to excess sap bleeding. They can produce a similar sugary residue just like maple trees. Walnuts are from the same plant family as pecans and hickories. Despite the tree’s name, they don’t produce true nuts but drupes instead – hard-shelled fruits that protect the seed.



6. Linden Trees

Linden Trees During Summer




Linden trees don’t normally produce more sap than necessary but they can be commonly affected by pests like aphids. They’re the ones that produce honeydew which some gardeners might confuse as the sap of the tree. It’s a similarly sticky residue that drips onto plants and everything else sitting under the infested tree. Lindens are also susceptible to sap bleeding from excessive pruning.



7. Poplar Trees

Poplar Tree During Autumn

Common trees growing throughout the US, poplars are often at fault for producing a lot of sap dripping down onto parked vehicles. The trees can have the residue harvested to make syrup. You can tap poplars just like you would other common sap-producing trees like maples. It’s recommended to start in early spring when sap production is the highest. That’s the ideal time for extracting it over a period of approximately one month.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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