Spruce tree


I sent a email earlier about my tree that has an opening where white sap has drained out. No evidence of insect’s. I believe my photo didn’t get sent so hopefully can do it now thanks.

Previous email copied here:
Our spruce tree planted in 2011, is about 8ft.tall and we noticed white sap thats has drained out a hole about 3/4 of the way up the tree. Havent seen any bugs .hopefully I’m able to send a photo. Could you recommend something to fix, should we plug the hole with something? Or spray the tree
Could you please offer any suggestions, we really don’t want to lose this tree. Thank you kindly.


Sap carries water and nutrients from the roots to all parts of a tree. Sometimes healthy plants drip small amounts of sap naturally or in response to pruning, wounding or attack by insects or disease. The leakage of sap is often a normal biological process of the trees and is not always a sign of a problem. The most important step when such symptoms arise is to identify the cause. If pruning has not recently occurred, insect damage or fungal or bacterial cankers may be to blame. I wonder, looking at your picture, if there was a branch there that got knocked off and left the hole?

If you see sap dripping from multiple holes that appear bored in the tree, suspect insects (although some woodpeckers also make holes and feed on sap). Bark beetles are a serious infestation and can be identified by the presence of sawdust, small holes in bark, leaking sap from bark and dying needles.

Cankers are dead spots on your trees, usually caused by fungi that grow under the bark. These dead places may be sunken, cracked, swollen or discolored. Sometimes resin leaks from a canker and forms a white patch on the bark. Cankers can be a gateway for bugs, bacteria and other fungi to enter the living tissue of the tree. Unfortunately, there aren’t any chemicals that will control canker disease once the fungi take hold.
The first thing to do is determine why the hole is there. Diagnosis of fungal or bacterial cankers is difficult without specialized knowledge. If you feel that the hole is there because a branch came down then watch the area for signs of disease. If you feel there might be another cause, then I advise you to contact an arborist for advice. Landscape Ontario has information on finding certified arborists https://landscapeontario.com/
A similar question has come in to Toronto Master Gardeners before and I have attached the link for that answer. In the answer, there is a link to an article about diseases of spruce trees that you might find interesting.