Do you often see bark falling off trees?
This article discusses the “why” of tree bark peeling. We also discuss the most common tree species that shed their barks.
As you read through, you’ll have a deeper understanding of this process and how to respond under different scenarios. Without further delay, let’s jump right into it.
Tree Bark Peeling Off
When trees shed their bark, they do so for several reasons. Such reasons may be due to a problem or a natural regular process.
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Whenever you observe this process, it’s essential to know the causes, and if it’s due to a problem, immediate solutions must be found.
Popular Trees With Peeling Bark
Not every tree is observed to have its barks falling off.
This condition tends to be more common in certain trees than in others. This condition is expected in trees like redbud, silver maple, sycamore, birch, seven-son flower Persian Parrotia, and Kousa dogwood.
Other Trees That Shed Their Bark
Other tree species with peeling bark include the London plane tree, crape myrtle, lacebark pine, shagbark hickory, and Scotch pine.
If you have any of these trees around, you should be conversant about bark-shedding conditions that appear pretty frequently.
Why Trees Shed Their Barks
When it comes to the reasons for tree bark shedding, no single answer can be given because multiple factors tend to be responsible.
These possible reasons include trees that are dying, trees with thin barks, peeling bark disease, pest activity, natural exfoliation, and environmental causes.
As stated earlier, some of these reasons may require immediate action to offer remedies to existing problems, while others may not require such a response.
Let’s discuss each of the reasons mentioned to understand better what’s involved.
i. Dying Trees
As humans die, so do trees. Also, these can die at any stage (whether young or old). Before trees die, they show several symptoms, including excessive bark shedding.
This condition is likely to occur under extreme circumstances. Plus, it may have lasted longer than necessary.
To further confirm such a tree’s rapid deterioration or death, you might also need to look for dropping limbs.
Excessive and prolonged shedding of your tree(s) should raise the alarm, especially when such a problem hasn’t been noticed in the past.
You’ll have to call for professional help.
An arborist helps assess the health of the tree to determine its condition. A thorough inspection of the tree’s species and likely causes of shedding is performed.
The outcome determines what action needs to be taken. There’s nothing more to do for a dead tree than have it removed.
ii. Trees With Thin Barks
Certain tree species have thin barks which they shed each year. If you’re confused about the cause of such shedding, you’ll have to consider if this happens at a specific time of year.
If it does, it’s a natural and routine occurrence that shouldn’t raise any alarm.
However, you’ll need to be sure of the situation, as assuming the cause of bark shedding might not be accurate. It’s best to have a professional take a close look at your tree to determine the reason for its peeling.
That way, you can avoid a situation where unresolved issues are likely to worsen.
iii. Peeling Bark Disease
Peeling bark disease is a condition you’re likely to encounter with trees. An example of this condition is a fungal disease known as hypoxylon canker.
Here, common symptoms include dying branches and wilting leaves that tend to be yellowish. Beneath the fallen or peeled bark is a mat of fungus.
All of these symptoms combined point to the fungal disease hypoxylon canker. Most tree technicians will recommend its removal. In other words, the best treatment approach is to have the tree removed entirely.
This helps curb the spread of disease to nearby trees.
iv. Pest Activity
There are lots of pest problems that lead to the rapid deterioration of trees.
Pest activity can lead to tree bark shedding. So, when this condition is observed, it’s essential to determine whether it’s due to pest activity or other causes.
Some insect pests are notorious for this kind of damage.
They include ants, pine beetles, and emerald ash borer.
Because these insects feed and build their colonies inside these trees, they interrupt normal functioning, leading to conditions where trees begin to shed their bark.
This condition has to be closely observed to determine the natural causes.
Full-blown pest infestations coupled with slow response cause tree bark shedding and kill the tree. So, a tree expert must first determine the cause before assessing the extent of the damage.
This will determine the treatment approach adopted.
v. Natural Exfoliation
Natural exfoliation is a common condition with trees. It occurs frequently and happens as the tree ages.
Even humans observe the natural exfoliation of their skins as such; it shouldn’t be a strange concept. More specifically, trees grow from the inside out due to the formation of fibrous tissue layers.
This causes an expansion of the outer layer, which the bark represents. The outer layer needs to be shed for the new. Tree barks aren’t elastic; hence crack and shed due to continuous expansion.
While this is true, such shedding isn’t familiar to all trees. The condition can be aggravated due to multiple states.
vi. Environmental Causes
Environmental conditions can also lead to tree bark shedding. These are the most extreme conditions, like frost and sun scalding.
Here, bark shedding may be restricted to one part of the tree. It isn’t easy to figure out the causes yourself. You’ll have to call for a professional assessment.
When environmental conditions are established as the cause of tree bark shedding, several measures are deployed to protect the tree from further degradation.
Examples of such measures include wrapping up or painting affected sections of the tree. As always, the pros know just what solutions to offer.
Tree bark shedding isn’t uncommon. Several possible causes, such as those discussed above, are likely when it does appear. No action is necessary when the reasons are natural.
However, other causes will require taking adequate measures to fix the problem.