The bark acts as a protective layer for trees, just like how the skin acts for humans. When you see someone with a dry, crackly skin, the first thing that comes to your mind is that perhaps the person is sick. The same goes for trees; if their bark is peeling or falling off, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Bark falling off trees is a common phenomenon in Fort Worth, Texas as it is in other parts of the world. If your trees are losing their protective coating, help them out by learning the causes (and solutions) discussed in this post.
Why Does The Bark Fall Off Trees?
Usually, it is normal for trees to lose their bark. Some species like silver maple, birch, and sycamore shed gigantic parts of their bark as part of their development. Others like the oak, ash, and pine grow from the inside out, which gets the older bark on top chipping away to create room for a new one.
As long as the bark underneath the shedding layers is healthy, your tree is okay. However, if the bark falls off after frost or after excessive heat, get a professional tree service Fort Worth company and have your trees checked.
Is A Tree Dead If The Bark Is Falling Off?
Not quite. As we stated above, some tree species shed their bark as part of their growth. If your tree looks healthy overall, chances are good that its bark is just falling off for growth. Sometimes the peeling could also be caused by weather stress. If your tree lost its bark after a harsh weather incident, it could be just stressed, so show it some love by hydrating and mulching it.
Give your tree a closer look if it appears unhealthy. Tree diseases and pests are becoming a major concern in Fort Worth, especially for landowners with oaks. There is a notorious fungus that targets the bark of oak species and bark falling off oak tree could be a sign for a fungal infection. Other signs to be on the lookout for include dead leaves, oozing cankers, and sawdust.
If your tree looks sickly or exhibits any of the aforementioned signs, it would be wise to have it checked by an expert. He will tell you whether he can treat the problem or whether you need to contact a tree removal Texas service to get rid of the tree before it endangers the rest of the plants in your property.
What Tree Disease Causes Trees To Lose Their Bark?
While growth is usually one of the major causes of peeling, there are several diseases that have been found to cause bark falling off trees including:
1. Hypoxylon Canker
Hypoxylon canker is one of greatest causes of bark falling off oak trees in Fort Worth and is becoming a serious problem for tree owners in this Texas area. Its main target is oak trees especially those that are stressed, weak, or wounded.
When it attacks, the tree first displays discolored leaves, reduced growth, and premature defoliation. As the infection advances, crusty areas develop on the bark of the tree and the bark turns dark brownish and flakes off. At this stage, the tree cannot be saved and has to be removed to avoid putting the neighboring plants in harm’s way.
Fireblight is a deadly bacterial pathogen and so far, no cure has been found for it. Usually, it targets pome fruits, and when it attacks, the tree first exhibits dead branches, unsightly foliage, and deformity. As the infection progresses, the bark darkens, gets weaker, and begins to fall off the tree. Quick action must be taken to stop this infection.
3. Dutch Elm Disease
Dead branches, thinning foliage, and weak, peeling bark are the first signs of this lethal vascular pathogen that attacks the Texas Elms. The disease is more prevalent in weak trees and has been found to kill a tree in less than ten weeks. So, do not delay to contact a professional tree service in Texas when your tree displays these symptoms or if its health appears to be lessening.
What Insects Cause Trees To Lose Their Bark?
1. Pine Bark Beetles
As the name hints, pine bark beetles target the pine trees and have destroyed a huge number of pine tree species in Fort Worth. They hit especially hard trees that are weak and vulnerable, causing them to look sickly with fading needles. Pine bark beetles make teeny tiny holes on the stem and branches causing the bark to fall off. Treatment must be administered immediately at the initial stages of the infestation.
2. Wood Borers
Arborists in Fort Worth are repeatedly encountering the irreparable damage that wood borers cause to trees. In the initial stages, the affected tree displays dead, broken branches, wilted foliage, and premature defoliation. As the infestation increases the bark of the tree becomes brittle and falls off. Contact an arborist right away if you observe wood borers on your tree.
What Do You Do When Bark Falls Off A Tree?
When a bark falls of a tree, first try to find out what is causing the fall. You can do this yourself or schedule a diagnostic appointment with a professional arborist. A tree specialist is a better option because he will examine your tree closely and provide you with a report showing the exact reason why its bark is falling. He will also advise you on what treatment the tree needs if it is diseased or has an insect problem.
Does Tree Bark Grow Back?
No, once a tree bark has fallen, it does not grow back. When the outer layer of your tree peels off, it leaves the inner layer (live tissue) exposed to diseases and insect infestation. If the tree is treated and gets back to its healthy form, it will seal and restore the edges of the wound so that no further injury or disease will occur, but the bark just won’t grow back.
Can Trees Survive Without Bark?
No, trees will not survive without a bark. When the inner layer of the tree (phloem) is exposed, it initiates a chain reaction. The phloem is responsible for transporting the nutrients manufactured through photosynthesis from the leaves to the roots. If the bark has fallen off, the phloem is no longer able to transfer these nutrients. And if the roots are not receiving the required nutrients, they can no longer transport water and minerals up the plant and therefore the upper part of your tree will start to die.
Is It Bad To Peel Bark Off Trees?
Not really. If the bark is very loose, it shows that the tree no longer needs that part and therefore it is safe to peel it off. The only time you should not peel a bark off is if it is still attached firmly to the tree because it shows that the tree is still in need of that section. Removing a bark that is strongly attached to the tree will harm the inner layer and the tree will start to die.
Tree Service Removal Overview
Bark falling off trees is a worrying occurrence for many trees owners, and while it can be just a part of a tree’s development, sometimes bark shedding can be caused by an infection. Enlist the services of a professional tree doctor immediately if your tree is starting to flake off, appears sickly or is infested with pests.