Sticky Stuff on Your Car? Your Tree Isn’t to Blame.

You are not alone if you’re wondering what the sticky stuff covering your car is. Many in Central Texas are dealing with the same headache.

“Don’t worry, your trees are not dying, and that prized pecan or oak tree will be just fine. The sticky substance coating your windshield after you park in the shade is honeydew,”  Vincent Debrock, a Master Arborist with Heritage Tree Care in Austin, reassured frantic tree owners this week.

What causes honeydew?

A recent segment on Austin’s NPR station reminded listeners—that sticky stuff on your car isn’t tree sap. It’s the excrement from small sap-sucking insects such as leafhoppers and aphids.

“We don’t see as many ladybugs, lacewings, and other aphid predators when the weather is so hot and dry,” Debrock said. “This allows the aphid, mealybug, and other sap-sucking insect numbers to build up. You may see damage to your roses and flowers, but these tiny insects seldom cause significant damage to our trees.”

How do I get rid of honeydew?

A fungus known as sooty mold may form on leaves or hard surfaces coated with honeydew. You can wash this black mold and the honeydew off with a garden hose. No, you don’t need to spray your trees with pesticide.

As the weather begins to cool and we get some rain, insect numbers should decrease.  In the meantime, avoid parking too close to trees, and remember it’s easier to wash the sticky substance off while it is fresh.

Debrock reminds us, “Prevention is better than cure. A healthy tree can withstand insect damage better than one that’s stressed.”

However, if you are concerned about a tree in your yard, fall is a great time to book a consultation with one of our arborists to look at the health of your trees.


Trees Enhance Our Lives

For the arborists of Heritage Tree Care, trees are more than a business- they’re our passion. You will find us contributing our time and expertise to the communities we serve; planting trees, educating children, or speaking at local clubs and events. Trees are an investment in our future—let’s care for them together.

Book a Consultation



Tree Care Services by Experienced, Certified Arborists

arborist tree service tree care plans photo


We treat each project with the attention required to ensure that your trees will continue to provide the benefits that you appreciate.

tree service companies permitting photo


Helping trees thrive in retail, office, and apartment environments can be complicated. Our experienced team can help.

tree care services armoring mulching photo

Designers & Contractors

As a contractor or designer, your clients are your top priority. You and your client’s trees are our top priority!

Heritage Tree Care logo

Office Address:
5424 W US Hwy 290 Service Rd #204-9, Austin, TX 78735

Mailing Address:
12214 Margo Dr., Buda, TX 78610

Serving Central Texas Since 2010

One-stop comprehensive tree care services for: Bastrop, Cedar Creek, Elgin, McDade, Paige, Red Rock, Rosanky, Smithville, Camp Swift, Circle D-KC Estates, Mustang Ridge, Wyldwood, Alum Creek, Bateman, Butler, Circle D Estates, Clearview, Colorado, Elysium, Flower Hill, Grassyville, Hills Prairie, Jeddo, Jordan, KC Estates, Kovar, Phelan, Pin Oak, Pine Hills, Rockne, Salem, Sayersville, String Prairie, Swiftex, Togo, Upton, Utley, Watterson and Willman.

ISA Certified Arborists logos
Heritage Tree Care Austin logo