Have you ever wondered what that sticky substance was that came out of trees? It’s called sap! Well, it could actually be latex (which is slightly different to sap) or even resin, which is completely different to sap. Resin is actually a hydrocarbon excretion, which isn’t sap at all. So then, sap, this water-based substance produced by trees has a variety of uses. In this blog we plan on exploring the uses for tree sap.
Uses for tree sap
Firstly, it should be noted that there are two different types of tree sap. Both are water-based and both contain minerals and hormones. The xylem sap contains extra nutrients whilst phloem sap contains sugar.
This one is the possibly the most obvious. A food that is loved by so many of us is accompanied by sap on many occasions. Know which food it is? That’s right, pancakes! The maple syrup that we eat with our pancakes is actually from tree sap.
In some cultures they use tree sap as a kind of medicine. For example it’s believed that the sap from a particular tree in the amazon will provide relief from pain and inflammation. This tree is referred to as ‘Sangre de Grado’ (dragon’s blood).
Acacia gum, a natural gum consisting of the harden sap found amongst various acacia trees. This acacia gum is used as a binder in watercolour paint. It also has various other uses including; used when making fireworks and as a non-toxic adhesive for stamps. It is even used in making some cosmetics and perfumes, hence the sweet smell!
Difference Between Sap and Latex?
Sap and latex become easily confused so we thought to clear it up. Latex is a milky substance that comes from the latex ducts (outside the cambium). It is there, inside the cambium which is where the actual sap is found and where the tree grows from.
So there you have it, you now know a variety of uses for sap. Can you think of something we’ve left off? If so, feel free to send us a message and we’ll be sure to put it in the next blog!