What Is Tree Sap?
Tree sap is a substance found in some trees that contains sugars, carbohydrates, proteins and other nutrients. It is not clear how tree sap got into the soil or whether it was planted there naturally. Tree sap may have been used by humans before European settlers arrived in North America. However, they did not use it for its intended purpose of making paper. They just harvested it from the trees to make rope and baskets out of them (see picture).
The sap is collected from the trees in different ways:
Sap is collected when a branch breaks off. When a tree falls down, leaves fall and fall along with the branches. If one of these fallen leaves happens to contain sap, then that leaf will also contain sugar molecules. These sugar molecules are broken up into smaller pieces by water and air which causes the sap to flow out of the leaf and onto another piece of ground where it becomes part of a stream or river.
When a tree dies, the sap begins flowing out of the stump. The sap is then collected by digging a hole in the ground and filling it with soil. Then, one of two things occurs:
If the tree died naturally without any human intervention, then most likely no sap will come out of the stump. Most probably because all those small pieces of sugar molecules were broken up too much during their fall from the tree and none would get released. In this situation, the soil acts as a filter for the rest of the tree.
If the tree was cut down or otherwise removed from land, then, most likely, a lot of sap will come out of the stump. Most probably because the soil stops filtering the sugar molecules and they are all broken up into smaller pieces. The reason it is still very sugary even though it has broken some of the sugar molecules up is because this has created more space for more sugar to flow into.
This is true even with the same type of tree and the same type of soil. The only difference would be how much sap comes out of the stump, not how sugary it tastes.
Sap is sometimes used to make alcohol. It is also used in cooking things like BBQ sauce. In fact, it has many of the same uses as corn syrup. Its taste tends to be a little bit more better than that of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). You can even boil it down to make a thicker, sweeter liquid similar to honey.
Sap can be good for you in limited amounts. It contains several nutrients that your body needs to function correctly. It’s important to remember that large amounts of the sugar in the sap can make you very sick if you don’t burn it off through exercise or working hard.
The health benefits of tree sap are not very well researched. In fact, it is probably not worth trying to collect it just for that purpose. You might be better off just eating something else.
The uses of the different types of tree saps can be very different. Some tree saps can even be used as poison. It is important to remember this when you are trying to decide what to do with the sap.
There are many ways that you can use tree sap in your home or garden.
Many types of trees can be tapped for their sap, such as birch, oak and maple trees.
You can make a sweetener out of it by boiling it down.
You can mix it with water and use it as a fertilizer for plants.
You can put tree sap on a rash or minor burn to soothe the skin.
You can mix it with other ingredients to make a glue or paste.
You can even use it as a fuel for a fire if you make it into a syrup.
This is a very good way to recycle something that would otherwise be thrown away.
This is a very popular product that most people know of. It’s made from the sap of the maple tree, but not all types are made the same way.
The types with a high concentration of sucrose (table sugar) are very valuable since less processing is needed to make them into a syrup. Some types can be as much as one part sugar to every three parts water. Most types of trees only have one part sugar for every ten parts water.
Sources & references used in this article:
A mathematical model linking tree sap flow dynamics to daily stem diameter fluctuations and radial stem growth by K Steppe, DJW De Pauw, R Lemeur… – Tree …, 2006 – academic.oup.com
Tree sap flow and stand transpiration of two Acacia mangium plantations in Sabah, Borneo by E Cienciala, J Kučera, A Malmer – Journal of hydrology, 2000 – Elsevier
Responses of tree sap‐feeding herbivores to elevated CO2 by M Docherty, F Wade, D Hurst, J Whittaker… – Global Change …, 1997 – Wiley Online Library
The analysis of physical background of tree sap flow measurement based on thermal methods by FA Tatarinov, J Kučera, E Cienciala – Measurement science and …, 2005 – iopscience.iop.org
Seasonal dynamics of tree sap flux and water use in nine species in Panamanian forest plantations by N Kunert, L Schwendenmann, D Hölscher – Agricultural and Forest …, 2010 – Elsevier
Review of Sangre de Drago (Croton lechleri) – A South American Tree Sap in the Treatment of Diarrhea, Inflammation, Insect Bites, Viral Infections, and Wounds … by K Jones – The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 2003 – liebertpub.com