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Pine tree sap around wounds signals healing

Question: A pine tree in my front yard appears to have had two open wounds for some time, judging by the amount of sap around them. Staff at a local nursery thought the wounds might be related to borers. However, rather than slather the wounds with tree dressing or tar, they suggested I contact someone more knowledgeable. I purchased Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Concentrate from the nursery as they recommended sprinkling this powder on the ground extending out to the tree line. Our pine tree is about 20 to 25 feet tall.

Borer damage to pines in the landscaped area of the valley is rare but worth checking out.

Pull away any loose bark from the damaged area first. If the bark pulls away from the tree easily, then the area under it is dead. If the dead area extends to a very large portion around the circumference of the tree, you would most likely see dead branches in the tree.

If there is just sap bubbling to the surface, it usually indicates some damage to the wood, and it exudes sap as part of the healing process. Leave it alone and let it heal just like we would any open wound we might get.

Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at extremehort@aol.com. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. You’ll find more Bob Morris gardening advice in the Home section of Thursday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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