I Pruned My Tree in Spring & Now It’s LeakingApril 18, 2011
When we prune trees as they are are exiting dormancy, sometimes we see the trees leaking fluid from the cuts. And, that’s okay.
In spring, when trees begin to leaf out, their vascular systems become very active. Water and nutrients begin to travel up from the roots quite readily. Think about tapping Sugar Maples to get delicious Maple syrup. This is done in early spring when “the sap is rising”. That’s the same thing that happens, though perhaps without the same tasty flavor, when our garden trees show seeping moisture from our pruning cuts. Don’t worry about the plant “bleeding” from cuts. It is already working to wall off the points of injury and should be just fine.
Now, two things you do want to consider when pruning trees with rising sap.
First, some trees, like Birch may end up showing oozy stains from the rising sap trickling down their otherwise lovely bark. Some choose not to prune birch and other showy bark trees this time of year.
Second, be sure that what you see oozing is actually just “rising sap”. If your tree has cracks in bark or strange fissures emitting gunky, gelatinous oozes, that may actually be a fungal infection spreading its spores. If in doubt, be sure to have an arborist check it out!