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How to Remove Tree Sap from a Car

How to Remove Tree Sap from a CarTree Sap is a sticky nuisance! This tacky, syrupy substance can end up in some of the most unwanted of places, especially on cars. Sap can be difficult to remove, and although there are lots of cleaners on the market that can tackle the job, some of them can be abrasive on surfaces. We went on a quest for a safe and effective method to remove tree sap from the surface of a car, and the results were surprising!

What is Tree Sap?

Tree sap is vital to a tree’s growth. Filled with nutrients and minerals, sap is the blood of a tree,” explains TreeCenter.com. “It carries energy out into the branches when new buds are forming in spring-time.”

Like blood, sap will flow free from open wounds. It may take several weeks for a cut to heal and unfortunately sap can cause an annoying mess in the process! 

Pine-Sap-via-Forestfoundation.orgSome of the more common trees that leak sap are:

  • Pines
  • Spruces
  • Firs
  • Maples
  • Elms
  • Birches
  • Honey Locusts

Tree sap drips on driveways, patios, and other hardscapes. It gets tangled in the hair of children climbing trees and in the fur of dogs scraping against tree trunks. Tacky strings of tree sap can even be carried by a heavy breeze over to unexpected places on your property!

One of the more frustrating places tree sap ends up is on the surface of cars. There are some products that claim to be effective for removing tree sap from cars, including Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover, Goo Be Gone, and WD-40. However, many of these can be abrasive to surfaces like car paint.

Giroud Tree & Lawn’s Marketing Assistant, Jeanne Hafner, went on a quest to find a safe and effective solution for removing tree sap from the surface of her car. She came across a few interesting techniques and tested out two of them: the Ice Method and the Cooking Spray Method. Both were successful! She also spoke with ISA Certified Giroud Arborist, Drew Slousky, about ways to  prevent sap from dripping onto her car again.

Check out the video here to see How To Remove Tree Sap from a Car!


Regular Tree Trimming Prevents Sap Problems

While tree sap is unavoidable, the damage to your property doesn’t have to be! If you want to prevent your trees from making a mess on your hardscapes and cars, the most effective preventative measure is to get them on a regular trimming schedule.

“You want to keep trees pruned about 1-2 feet away from any hardscape area,” explains Drew Slousky, ISA Certified Giroud Arborist. “For a tree like a Spruce, I would taper it in up toward the top and keep that shape with regular pruning. For trees with overhanging branches, I would trim back any branches that are hanging over driveways, patios, and decks.”


Drew goes on to explain that although trimming on a regular basis is helpful, freshly pruned trees will leak sap. “When you’re pruning a tree, you have to bear in mind that for a couple of months it will continue to bleed until it finally heals over. Just be careful not to park your car under the pruned tree for a while until the sap stops flowing.”

Get Your Trees in Shape!

Now is a great time to have your trees pruned! Besides preventing sap problems, there are many other reasons to shape up those branches:

  • Safety Tree Pruning: Thins the crown to reduce wind resistance and weight of top heavy limbs and removes dead, rotted and weakly attached limbs.
  • Tree View Pruning: Improve your landscape views by elevating and shaping trees around pools, patios, drives, walkways and gardens.
  • Reduce Debris: Prune trees that drop fruit, nuts or other debris onto key areas on your property such as the pool area, roof, driveway and, patio.
  • Tree Pruning for Health: Prune out weak, dead and diseased limbs and establish a healthy growth pattern by promoting a dominant leader and selectively removing crossed branches.
  • Cut-off Wildlife Access: Trim trees away from house to avoid access by squirrels and other wildlife to rooftops and attics.
  • Tree Raising-Elevation: Allow more daylight to reach understory plants and lawn by pruning and removing lower limbs.



Why choose Giroud Tree and Lawn for your Tree Pruning?

Giroud Tree & Lawn has been a trusted resource since 1974 and we offer FREE Inspections year round! 

  • Proper site inspection prior to tree trimming
  • Free Tree Pruning Estimate
  • Meticulous clean-up after the pruning is completed
  • Professional Tree Pruning Experts: Pruning, especially ornamental and large tree pruning, requires extensive training, experience and expertise. Improper tree pruning can impact the health of your trees.
  • Fully Insured and Certified (coverage for Giroud employees and your property)
  • Prompt arrival
  • Friendly, highly trained crews: Tree pruning must be performed according to industry standards to protect the health of your tree and the safety of your home or business.
  • Tree pruning without damaging property or neighboring trees.

Things to ask before choosing a tree pruning professional:

  • Are you an ISA Certified Arborist?
  • Have you performed tree pruning service on this particular type of tree?
  • Do you have recommendations from other satisfied customers for whom you’ve provided tree pruning services?
  • What are the professional credentials of the crew who will be on site for my tree pruning?

Give Giroud Tree and Lawn a call at 215-682-7704 to schedule your FREE Tree Evaluation Today!




Author: Jeanne Hafner

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  • Sandy

    Thanks so much, Jeanne! I’m going to give this a try – your’s are the only natural, environmentally safe methods I found in my search.
    I’m not far away in Zionsville (SW Lehigh County), but I grew up in Feasterville and my mom now lives in Warminster – so, essentially, same neck of the woods, as it were.
    Hope you and everyone at Giroud are doing well this summer!

    • Jeanne Hafner

      So glad to hear our video was helpful for you, Sandy! We appreciate the kind words and hope you are having a great summer!