How a Tree Stump is Removed
November 20, 2017
Tree Suckers 101
Tree Suckers 101: What You Need to Know
January 16, 2018
Show all

The Trees to Avoid if You Don’t Want Sap on Your Car

Trees always add an element of natural beauty to your property. There’s nothing better than their changing leaves in the fall, but with changing seasons comes another factor to keep in mind: sap. Depending on where you plant, trees with a lot of sap can be a problem for your property. The number one concern is your car. If sap gets on your car it could incur some damage, so below is a comprehensive list to avoid tree sap and what to do to prevent your tree from becoming a sappy mess.

Which Trees Produce The Most Sap?

Unless you have a plan to start tapping your own syrup, these trees are the ones to avoid when it comes to sap. The largest group of sappy trees is the maple trees. This species produces a sugary sap that is commonly used to make the same maple syrup you douse on your pancakes on Saturday morning.

There are several kinds to avoid if you don’t want your car or property to be covered in sap. These are the top culprits to watch out for before you park: sugar maple, black maple, red maple, silver maple, Norway maple, boxelder, bigleaf maple, canyon maple, rocky mountain maple, and gorosoe. These maple trees produce varying degrees of sugary sap and can all be tapped for syrup.

The next group is the walnuts trees, which includes: butternut, black walnut, heartnut, and the English walnut. These trees also produce a sugary sap, but in fewer quantities than maples trees.

The final category is the birch trees which include the paper birch, yellow birch, black birch, river birch, gray birch, and the European white birch. While less sugary, the birch trees can also have their sap tapped for consumption.

If you’re looking for trees to avoid when it comes to your car, it’s safe to say that most maples, walnut trees, and birch trees should be avoided.

Which Trees Produce Less Sap?

All trees produce sap in one form or another, but there are trees that produce a lot less sap. The number one tree is the English oak. Overall the oak does not produce much sap, but it also is resistant to sap-inducing diseases, as well as pests that could cause more sap.

The same is true with the Japanese snowdrop tree, which can grow up to 25 feet with blossoms. This tree is also good at repelling diseases and pests. While all trees produce sap, you can choose trees that will limit the amount of sap that can get onto your property.

How To Prevent Sappy Trees?

Sap is a naturally occurring residue found in trees, but it can quickly become a hassle for any gardener. While all trees form sap, there are steps you can take to make sure you don’t get too much.

The first sap-inducer is pests. For example, the bark beetle lays its eggs beneath the tree bark. Once they hatch, they burrow holes into the tree. The tree combats this by producing more sap to fill the holes. An insecticide can manage these pests, but it’s important to get the advice of a professional so no harm comes to the tree.

There are also pests that feed on the sap of trees and as a result release a substance called honeydew. While it looks like sap, it isn’t. Honeydew increases the chances of infection in the trees. Honeydew is one of the many substances that can cause trees to release more sap.

Other diseases include bacterial infections and fungi. These all cause trees to go into sap producing overdrive and release more into its wounds as a form of protection.

Another tactic for prevention is correct pruning. If a tree is pruned at the wrong time or incorrectly, sap is released to protect the area. If pruning is done in the dormant season, there is less likelihood of the tree over producing sap. To make sure that the job is done correctly, it’s best to bring in a professional who knows the correct care for your trees.

What To Do If Sap Gets On Your Car?Trees to Avoid if You Don't Want Sap on Your Car

Tree sap that gets on your car will not immediately damage the paint. However, over time tree sap can go through the clear coat and begin to damage the paint beneath, leading to discoloration and staining.

If you do see that sap has gotten onto your vehicle, the first step is to wash and dry your car to get as much of the sap off. The next step is to use a remover solution. This can be a tar remover, bug remover or if you can find it, a sap remover, through rubbing alcohol is known to work as well.

Whichever solution you prefer, take that and dab a few drops onto a washcloth, then leave the cloth on top of the area with the sap for thirty seconds. Next, rub the area until the sap is gone. This may need to be repeated a few times. If there are a few spots remaining, gently scrape off the rest. Once the sap is removed, spray the area with polishing wax. Through these steps, you should be able to safely remove tree sap from your car without damaging, but use caution and test a small area first to ensure you’ve chosen the best solution for your vehicle.

If tree sap is a problem in your yard, the first step is to identify the tree. If the tree is a maple or other trees that are tapped for their syrup, this may be a naturally occurring sap. At which time you’ll have to decide if it’s worth removing the tree from your property or simply adjusting your habits, like parking your car elsewhere.

However, if the tree becomes too much of a hassle, you can opt to have the tree removed by a professional and plant a tree that won’t cause damage to your property instead.

On the other hand, if the tree is not known for sap production, your tree may be sick. This is the perfect time to call for your local experts like us at Vernon Imel Tree Service.

Thankfully, if you keep your trees healthy, with regular pruning and care, sap shouldn’t be a problem for your car and property.