7 Reasons For Tree Bark Peeling & Species That Shed Their Bark

Do you often see bark falling off trees?

In this article, we discuss 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 what this process is about and how to respond under different scenarios. Without further delay, let’s jump right into it.

Tree Bark Peeling Off

When trees shed their barks, they do so for several reasons. Such reasons may be due to a problem or might simply be a natural process that happens regularly.

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Whenever you observe this process, it’s important to know what the causes are and if it’s due to a problem, immediate solutions have to 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 others. You’ll find this condition to be common 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 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 quite 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.

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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 for a better understanding of 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 a number of 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 the rapid deterioration or death of such a tree, you might also need to look for dropping limbs.

Excessive and prolonged shedding of your tree(s) should raise an 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 including its species and likely causes of shedding is performed.

The outcome determines what action needs to be taken. For a dead tree, there’s nothing more to do than having 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, chances are that 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.

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That way, you’re able to avoid a situation where unresolved issues are likely to worsen.

iii. Peeling Bark Disease

Peeling bark disease is a real 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 completely.

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 important to first 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 of these trees, they interrupt the normal functioning, hence leading to conditions where trees begin to shed their barks.

This condition has to be closely observed to determine the real causes.

Full-blown pest infestations coupled with slow response won’t only cause tree bark shedding but also kill the tree. So, a tree expert first needs to determine the cause before assessing the extent of the damage.

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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. To be more specific, 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 common with all trees. The condition can be aggravated due to multiple conditions.

vi. Environmental Causes

Environmental conditions can also lead to tree bark shedding. These are the most extreme conditions like frost and sun scalding among others.

Here, bark shedding may be restricted to one part of the tree. It’s mostly difficult 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, a number of 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. When it does appear, a number of possible causes such as those discussed above are likely. No action is necessary when the causes are natural.

However, other causes will require taking adequate measures to fix the problem.

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