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How to Remove Excess Sap From a Pine Tree Trunk

By Heide Braley ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Will Need

  • Scraper
  • Hammer
  • Bucket

References

About the Author

 

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.