My Royal Poinciana tree has begun leaking a sticky, sweet sap, in earnest. It is healthy, or I thought it was, and it is beautiful. It is about 6 years old. The branch that is leaking has another branch above it, sitting on it. Could the pressure from the branch sitting on it cause it distress? Inasmuch as it would leak sap?
This tree has never leaked sap before, other than when I have pruned a branch - then I put the black "repair" on it and it is done. Thanks for your quick answer because it is leaking to beat the band! I will be very upset if bugs or something like that have caused this. HELP!!!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unfortunately it is a bug infestation. The sap is actually honeydew, which several different pests secrete. I would treat the plant with neem oil, which is very effective on these kinds of pests and is safe for people and pests. Here are some articles that may help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm
The bugs that produce honeydew are often hard to spot. For example, scale looks just like small bumps on the leaves or bark while mealybugs look like bits of fluff. They do not look like bugs at all and rarely move. Look closely at the undersides of leaves and where branches and/or stems meet. These tend to be favorite spots for honeydew producing pests.
I would not plug the holes with the black stuff. I would actually not recommend using the black sealer at all. It can trap bacteria and disease against wounds, which can harm the tree. The wounds will seal and heal well in the open air.
Spray the whole tree with neem oil. Neem works systemically, meaning it gets inside the plant itself and when these pests bite the tree (which is how they produce honeydew) they are killed by the neem.