Oak tree dripping water?

popke(10 Seminole, FL)July 29, 2013

There is a large Oak tree in our neighbors yard that hangs over our house. The tree drips on our cars and it stains the paint if not removed immediately. The substance appears to be water with a little sap in it. The water company reader happened to be walking by and we asked him about it and he said that there may be a break in a pipe and the tree is absorbing too much water and is just dripping the excess and that is what we are seeing.

Does this sound right?
Thank you!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5



    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:27PM
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saccharum(z9 FL)

It's much more likely that your tree is infested with a sucking insect such as aphids, scales, or whiteflies. Many of these will excrete "honeydew", which is basically slightly-processed tree sap. This will rain down on whatever's below, and will often then develop a blackish fungal growth called "black sooty mold".

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd be willing to bet money that it's the 24/7 excretion of aphids or scale as saccharum suggested. I've tried for years to get someone to sample this substance! :-)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 5:39PM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you! Those explanations sounds way more understandable than the water in the ground. It is amazing to me that aphids or scale could secrete that much liquid. Is there anything I can do about it? Like I said, the tree is not mine and we get the branches cut back every couple of years but it is literally eating into the paint and windshield of my brand new car.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 6:56PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Talk to your neighbor, first. You may suggest you'll split the bill to have a certified arborist come examine the tree. You proceed from there. In the meantime, park elsewhere!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 7:31PM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Dax, in a normal situation that would be a perfect solution but they are renters and the homeowner is completely uncooperative. :)
We had the audacity to ask her once about mowing their yard and cleaning up the leaves that were blowing all over our yard from her trees. We are parking elsewhere until the tree stops raining on us.
Thank you for the advice!!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 7:36PM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Deleted duplicate :)

This post was edited by Popke on Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 19:40

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 7:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You have the right to prune away any part of the tree that hangs over your property. You'll probably need to have it done once a year.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:51AM
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I'm a little concerned with your description that the substance is eating your paint.

I used to live in a neighborhood with large silver maples lining the streets. We had a really bad year with some sort of sap-sucking insect. They did indeed rain some sort of sugar-water on our vehicles, to the point that the car doors stuck a bit, the entire car was sticky, and the pavement was also tacky underfoot.

However, this sort of residue does zero damage to the car. It's basically sugar water. It washes off easily, but no paint damage.

Just my experience. Everything was COVERED with the stuff, but it was totally harmless.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:18AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"You have the right to prune away any part of the tree that hangs over your property."

While that statement is true in many cases, it is not universally so. Unless Rhizo has first hand knowledge of your particular case (that we aren't aware of), you'd be smart to verify whether there were local laws or neighborhood restrictions before doing any pruning.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 6:42PM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you all for the advice. The tree is still dripping away the clear water-like liquid. We are planning to have the branches cut back but it won't be far enough. They won't cut them back to the property line because it could harm the tree. I love the shade from the tree but the mess is a pain. I looked at the leaves on the ground and they look normal, but I am not a tree expert. :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:01PM
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I had a red oak drip slime flux a few years ago. A clear liquid drip on the middle trunk of a 15ft tree, adolescent bark (still smooth), it went away with no further problems after a couple weeks. This may not be your same situation, but I am adding my experience anyway.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 1:06AM
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I just read this and live up the road in Palm Harbor and just last year started to experience a similar problem. Our Oaks started to drip but the "water" leaves a white residue on everything underneath. It does no damage but is hard to remove even with washing the car. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 3:21PM
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Aphids are causing the'sap' to drip onto the vehicles. Regardless of tree ownership and what you can cut overhanging your property, the best method of control is using the insecticide Imidiocloprid. It is the same common insecticide used to try whitefly.
Ive purchased a 10lb bag at HD or Lowe for about 15.00. Spread the granuals around the base of the tree according to label rates. It will take a few weeks for the roots to absorb and for the tree to move it up throughout its canopy. As the insects eat, the chemical kills them.
READ the label for rates and any potential risks to animals and humans. Its a pretty safe chemical for the average novice gardener.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bayer Insecticide

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 7:47AM
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