Tips For Trimming A Sappy Tree


Some trees produce more sap than others or their sap tends to be stickier. Maples, elms, and birches are a few varieties known for producing plenty of sap. This may be a minor nuisance in the yard, but it can be a major inconvenience when it comes time to trim any of these trees. The following tips can help you manage this chore without getting too sticky.

Tip #1: Time your pruning properly

Many trees are pruned in late winter when they are dormant, but this is the worst time to prune a sappy tree. This is because the sap will begin flowing as soon as the weather begins to warm, resulting in a mess. Instead, prune sappy trees in early summer after the leaves reach their mature size. The sap flow will be at a minimum at this time. Don't wait too long, though. Any pruning wounds that don't heal before fall will result in a sappy mess next spring.

Tip #2: Keep your tools clean

Although the loss of sap is harmless to the tree, it can wreak havoc on your tools. The easiest way to prevent this is to clean your tools often as you trim. A rag and a bottle of rubbing alcohol works well. Simply wipe your pruning shears or saw with the alcohol-soaked rag periodically to remove the sap residue. The alcohol can also get the sap off of your skin and gloves, but you need to test it first to make sure it doesn't damage clothing.

Tip #3: Use a tarp to avoid further messes

Often, when you're pruning, it's normal to just let the branches fall where they may, then clean them up later. This won't work with sappy trees since even the branches can exude the sticky stuff. You have a couple of options to avoid a mess. You can have a large bag-line garbage can nearby that you carefully place each branch into as you remove it. The other option is to lay down a disposable painter's drop cloth beneath the tree. You can them bundle it up, with the branches inside, once you are done pruning. This makes disposal easy, with the added benefit of a quick yard clean up.

If trimming up a sappy tree seems like too much effort, contact a tree service professional like in your area for more help, whether for more advice or to hire them for the job.


30 June 2016

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