Why Tree Bark is Peeling

From Natural to More Problematic Causes


When layers of bark start shedding from your tree, it may not be cause for alarm, but it’s worth it to discover what is causing the problem. Peeling tree bark causes range from natural growth to possible disease, so take a closer look to discover any other indication of what’s really happening.

Peeling Tree Bark Causes

Loss of bark around a tree occurs for a variety of reasons:

Growth. Like snakes shedding its skin and kids growing out of their clothes, growing trees also get too big for their bark. As the trunk enlarges, old bark falls off as new bark forms underneath. Bark on a young tree is more smooth and flexible, therefore able to withstand inner growth. An older tree has lost some of this elasticity, and so the old, dry bark splits and cracks off as the tree continues to grow.

Disease. If the tree is healthy, any natural shedding or exposed layers of bark heal rather quickly. However, weaker trees affected by insects, disease, or drought take longer to heal. Any exposed tissue is therefore more susceptible to further issues like fungus. Certain fungi also cause the bark to fall off in the first place. These pieces come off in bits and pieces rather than neat curls. Dark red, brown, or black cankers form and cause trunk disfigurations and dead branches. If not caught in time, too much of the tree is affected to effectively save it.

Damage. Insects and other animals cause damage to trees by laying eggs on the surface, taking up residence in hollowed out sections, or eating too much of the bark. Tiny pieces of bark flake off when birds and other natural predators go after insect larvae. Storms and extreme weather also damage trees by ripping off loose bark.

Tree Trunk Treatment

If you believe your tree bark is peeling for a reason other than natural shedding, it’s best to properly diagnose the problem before applying any treatment. Contact Elite Tree Care for more information on what may be causing your tree to shed and for a consultation to determine the best treatment options.

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