Bleeding from pruning cuts

Bleeding from pruning cuts can be unsightly but is usually not harmful, and will naturally heal over time. In rare cases, prolonged bleeding may lead to loss of vigour and even death of the tree or shrub. We no longer recommend binding, wrapping or painting pruning cuts, the best thing is to let them heal naturally. Pruning at the correct time will minimise bleeding as well.

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Cuts made to some plants can bleed sap. Credit:RHS/The Garden.

Quick facts

Plants affected Birch, walnut, maple, hornbeam, Laburnum, magnolia, mulberry, poplar, Tilia, grape vine, Sophora
Main causes Pruning at the wrong time of year
Timing Usually seen in late winter to early spring

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