How to Remove Excess Sap From a Pine Tree Trunk

Overview

Pine trees are known for producing a lot of sap, especially in the spring and early summer. If the bark surface is scratched or harmed, sap will flow to the area to heal the wound. Sometimes, the sap will flow for a while before it covers the area. This large mass of sap can be unsightly on a tree, although it is not harmful to the tree itself. You can remove it safely without causing any damage to the pine tree trunk.

Step 1

Inspect the tree trunk to find the reason for the extra sap flow. If there was a branch removed or broken, then it should be obvious. Sometimes, insects can cause damage to the trunk, and you may be able to see evidence of the larvae in the mass.

Step 2

Pry off the larger chunks with the scraper, but try not to get too close to the bark of the trunk. If the sap has become too hard, you may have to use a hammer to push the scraper into the mass to pry it off. Keep the scraper parallel with the tree to avoid gouging it.

Step 3

Scrape the residual parts of the pine sap mass, holding the scraper at a more perpendicular angle to the tree trunk. Do not hit the bark or you risk causing a new wound that will cause more sap to flow down the trunk.

Step 4

Clean any tools you used with an oil-based product, since pine sap will not dissolve in water. If you have pitch on your skin, you can clean it with vegetable oil or butter. Emulsify the pitch by rubbing the oils into your skin and wipe it with a paper towel.

Things You'll Need

  • Scraper
  • Hammer
  • Bucket

References

  • Garden Pests
Keywords: pine tree, sap pitch, pruning

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and eHow.com. Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.