5 Reasons Why Your Tree Is Shedding Bark

When your tree is shedding bark, it’s easy to hit panic mode and imagine the worst-case scenario. After all, tree bark is the first line of defense against a world of nasty bugs and unpredictable weather. 

But is there reason to panic if the tree starts shedding its bark? As the go-to tree service company in Angleton, TX, Country Trees demystifies your fears and sheds some light on the subject below.

#1 It’s Just Nature Doing Its Thing

Shed bark isn’t always indicative of a tree in peril. In truth, some trees, like the Silver Maple or the River Birch, naturally slough off the old outer layer as a part of their growth process. This natural shedding helps the tree to expand its girth and height as the older, restrictive portion peels away to reveal vibrant, new layers of bark beneath. 

Other species with this habit include the following:

  • Sycamore
  • Hickory
  • Redbud
  • Pine

#2 Sunscald Has Affected the Tree’s “Skin”

Sunscald, in arborist terms, is the equivalent of a nasty, blistering sunburn for trees. Brief warm spells during the winter can “trick” your specimen into believing it’s spring. Then, the bark warms up, the cells come out of dormancy, and a burst of growth ensues. 

However, the new growth can’t handle the cold snap when the temperature inevitably drops again, leading to damage and shed bark. At this point, you can prevent further damage with a tree wrap or protective paint designed specifically for trees.

#3 Frost Crack Is Splitting the Tree and Needs Attention

Frost cracks are another potential reason why your tree is shedding bark. These are vertical, deep cracks often spotted on the south or southwest side of the trunk. They occur when water in trees freezes and expands, and usually manifests in thin-barked specimens, such as:

  • Horse chestnuts
  • Lindens
  • Maples
  • Willows

Unfortunately, despite what the name suggests, frost cracks aren’t just a winter phenomenon—they can occur at any time of the year with sudden temperature changes. So, regularly check your local weather forecast to anticipate these environmental factors and implement preventive measures for vulnerable trees. For example, arborists may suggest applying tree bark wraps or anti-transpirant spray to retain moisture and prevent cracking.

#4 Pest Damage Has Moved in for the Kill

Destructive pests such as beetles, borers, and certain birds and critters can wreak havoc on your tree’s outer shell. Many prefer to target weakened specimens, so maintaining the health of your living landscape is crucial. 

Aside from missing or damaged bark, watch out for the following telltale signs of an infestation:

  • Color, size, or texture changes in foliage
  • Holes in the trunk or branches
  • Excessive dieback
  • Honeydew trails of sugary residue
  • Frass (sawdust-like material)
  • Mud tunnels

If there is a pest problem in your trees, don’t wait for things to get out of hand. Not only could pests potentially take your tree down; they could also migrate to other plants.

#5 The Invader Is a Tree Disease

A large variety of pathogens find trees as an inviting host, from anthracnose to bacterial blights. These microscopic menaces cause extensive damage, including the following:

  • Spots or discoloration on leaves and bark
  • Mushrooms or other fungal bodies growing on or near the tree
  • Unusual leaf drop or wilting
  • Musty odors

Consult a Local Specialist To Save Your Trees

With so many possible causes, learning why your tree is shedding bark, or why it may be rotting, can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Is it simply the way your tree grows healthy bark or a symptom of trouble?

Find out from Country Trees at 979-824-0325 today! We’re the tree experts to call if you need help identifying trees, safeguarding their general health, and everything in between.

Call Now Button