Sealing Tree Wounds

I have implanted a few pesticide bullets in a tree infected with soft scales. 3 out of the 5 implant sites are bleeding out saps. The manufacturer of the implants suggests caulking the implant sites to prevent bleed outs. I’m hesitant to do that as I’m not 100% sure if those are pure saps because I have driven the implants in too deep beyond the cambium or they are something else, caused by a bacterial infection for example. Meanwhile, the bleed out seems to be getting worse. What are your thoughts?

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I used to seal wounds until I read this. Then I stopped.

The Myth of Sealing Tree Wounds.
by Linda Chalker-Scott

I think she knows her stuff. I follow her tree advice whether it’s fruit trees or specimen trees, and it always seems to work. As for wounds, I leave them open. Trees have a mechanism to seal off injuries internally. I had a maple with a 14 inch long, 1 to 2 inch wide wound, and the trunk was only about 4 inches in diameter. It took about 5 years, but the tree gradually expanded its bark and now the wound is completely sealed by new wood.

I guess the tree leaking sap is like us bleeding if we are wounded by bullets. I would let it continue. Others with more experiences might have better thoughts. It might help to know the species of tree. My peaches, cherries, and plums tend to bleed more while my Apples and Pears do not.


Thanks for the article. Was the wound of your maple leaking sap? If yes, do you remember how long it took for the bleed outs to subside. I wiped down the wounds with alcohol, but the bleed outs seems to be getting progressively worse. I’m contemplating to put some coconut oil over the wounds to slow down the bleed outs and sterilize the wounds at the same time.

@wentium, that tree was injured in the nursery, long before I bought it. It had already stopped bleeding. Maybe someone else will weigh in. I’ve had pruned grapes bleed for weeks. From what I read, the bleeding is not harmful although I could see it washing out the medication that you provided. Of course, in the Spring there are people who collect gallons of sap from maples, but this isn’t Spring, I hope there is someone with a better answer for you!

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Got it! Glad to know that other trees (like pruned grapes) would bleed for weeks. My pomegranate or orange tree didn’t bleed at all after I butchered them, but that’s another story. Hopefully, this magnolia tree would survive. Fingers crossed. Thx for your help. Greatly appreciated! :slight_smile:

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