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Bark Separating From Tree The Fascinating Process of Bark Shedding

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

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There are many trees that shed their bark, but the most fascinating process of bark shedding happens with the eucalyptus tree. The outermost layer of the eucalyptus tree’s trunk is composed of dead cells that act as a barrier to protect the living tissue underneath. When this outer layer becomes too thick, it begins to crack and peel away into thin sheets.

This process allows the tree to get rid of old, damaged bark and make way for new growth.

As the seasons change, so does the bark on some trees. In a process called “bark shedding,” certain trees will lose their outer layer of bark. This shed bark reveals a new, inner layer of bark that is often lighter in color.

Bark shedding is a natural process that helps trees protect themselves from harsh weather conditions and pests. The new inner layer of bark is often less vulnerable to damage from the elements and pests. While most tree species will shed their bark at some point in their lifetime, some species are known for shedding their bark more frequently than others.

Birch trees, for example, are known for shedding their outer layers of bark every few years. If you find yourself with a shed piece of tree bark, don’t throw it away! There are many uses for this natural material.

Tree bark can be used as mulch or compost, or even made into crafts like baskets or birdhouses.

Tree Bark Identification – Black Cherry, HopHornBeam and Basswood

What Kind of Tree Has Shedding Bark?

A tree with shedding bark is one where the outermost layer of the trunk and branches peel away in thin sheets or flakes. This type of tree is common in many parts of the world, and some examples include paper birch, sycamore, sweet gum, and river birch. The process of shedding bark helps these trees to protect themselves from injury, pests, and disease.

In some cases, it can also help the tree to regulate its temperature.

What Does It Mean When a Sycamore Tree Sheds Its Bark?

When a sycamore tree sheds its bark, it is an indication that the tree is unhealthy. The shedding of bark can be caused by many different factors, including disease, pests, or injury. If you notice that your sycamore tree is shedding its bark, you should contact a certified arborist to inspect the tree and determine the cause.

Why Does American Sycamore Bark Peel?

One of the most common questions we get asked about trees is “Why does American sycamore bark peel?” We’re here to give you the answer! American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a large deciduous tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall.

It has distinctive, thick, dark brown to gray bark that peels off in large, thin sheets. The peeling bark is one of the tree’s most distinguishing characteristics. The reason the bark peels is because it grows faster than the underlying wood.

As the outer layer of bark expands, it eventually splits and begins to peel away from the inner layers. The process is similar to how our skin sheds as we grow. While some people find the shedding bark unsightly, it actually helps protect the tree from disease and pests.

The new growth underneath is also more resistant to damage from harsh weather conditions like wind and frost. So there you have it! Now you know why American sycamore bark peels – it’s simply part of the tree’s natural growth cycle.

Do Some Trees Shed Their Bark?

Yes, some trees do shed their bark. The process is called exfoliation and it helps the tree to protect itself from damage and disease. The outer layer of bark is made up of dead cells that the tree doesn’t need anymore, so shedding them helps the tree stay healthy.

Exfoliation also allows the tree to get rid of any parasites or diseases that might be living on the surface of the bark.

What Tree Sheds Its Bark? The Fascinating Process of Bark Shedding
Bark Separating From Tree The Fascinating Process of Bark Shedding 20


Peeling Tree Bark Disease

If your tree’s bark is peeling, it could be suffering from a disease called canker. A canker is a fungal or bacterial infection that causes the bark to peel away from the tree trunk or branches. The infection can kill the tissue beneath the bark and prevent the tree from transporting water and nutrients, which can lead to its death.

There are several types of canker diseases, each caused by different fungi or bacteria. Some common types include Cytospora canker (fungus), Nectria canker (fungus), Neonectria galligena (fungus), and Phytophthora root rot (bacterium). Each type of canker has different symptoms, but all cause the bark to peel away from the tree trunk or branches.

Canker diseases are often difficult to control and treat. If you think your tree has a canker disease, it’s important to contact a certified arborist or tree care company for diagnosis and treatment options.

“Bark Separating” from Tree

A tree’s bark is its protective outer layer. The bark of a young tree is smooth, but as the tree grows and matures, the bark becomes rough and scaly. Over time, the outermost layers of bark can separate from the underlying wood, causing problems for the tree.

Bark separating (also called exfoliation) occurs when the outer layers of bark peel away from the trunk or branches. This can happen due to a number of factors, including:

  • Injury: If a tree is wounded (by an axe, for example), the injury site can cause the bark to separate.
  • Disease: Some diseases can cause separation of the bark layers.
  • Environmental stress: Extreme temperature changes or drought conditions can lead to bark separating. If you notice that your tree’s bark is beginning to separate, taking action quickly is important.

Separated bark leaves behind an exposed area that can be susceptible to further damage from insects, disease, and weather. In severe cases, separated bark can girdle a branch or trunk, causing dieback. If you think your tree may have Bark Separation Disorder (BSD), contact a certified arborist or tree care professional for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Sycamore Tree Bark Peeling

The sycamore tree is known for its large, showy leaves and its beautiful, mottled bark. The bark of the sycamore tree peels away in thin layers, revealing a smooth, cream-colored inner surface. This shedding of the outer bark is a natural process that helps the tree protect itself from disease and pests.

While the shedding bark may be unsightly, it is not harmful to the tree and will eventually stop on its own.

Autumn Sycamore

Tree Bark Peeling at Base

If you notice that the bark on your tree is peeling at the base, it’s important to take action right away. If left untreated, this problem can lead to serious damage or even death of the tree. There are a few possible reasons why the bark might be peeling.

One possibility is that the tree was damaged during construction or another activity near its roots. This damage can cause the bark to peel away from the trunk. Another possibility is that the tree is suffering from a disease or pest infestation.

These problems can cause the bark to become weak and eventually peel off. If you suspect that your tree has either of these problems, it’s important to contact an arborist or other professional for help. Once you’ve determined what’s causing the bark peeling, you can take steps to correct the problem and prevent further damage.

If the problem is construction damage, you’ll need to have the roots repaired by a professional. For diseases or pests, you’ll need to treat the tree with appropriate chemicals or remove and destroy infected parts of the tree. With proper care, your tree should be able to recover from this problem and thrive for years to come!

White Tree That Sheds Its Bark

A white tree that sheds its bark is a beautiful and unique sight. There are many different species of trees that can exhibit this trait, but the most popular one is the paperbark birch. This type of tree is native to parts of Europe, Asia, and North America, and it gets its name from the papery, white bark that covers its trunk and branches.

The paperbark birch is a deciduous tree, meaning it loses its leaves each autumn. But in addition to shedding its foliage, this tree also sheds its outer layer of bark. The process begins in late summer or early fall when the tree’s inner layer of bark starts to push through the outer layer.

Then, as winter approaches and temperatures drop, the outer layer of bark begins to peel away from the trunk in long strips. The result is a beautiful white tree that looks like it’s covered in snow! While the paperbark birch is the most well-known type of tree that sheds its bark, there are other species that exhibit this trait as well.

These include the river birch, shagbark hickory, and weeping willow. So if you’re ever lucky enough to spot a white tree shedding its bark, take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of this unique phenomenon!

Birch, with bark peeling

Elm Tree Shedding Bark

Elm trees are deciduous and lose their leaves in the fall. They also shed their bark, which can be a nuisance if it accumulates on your property. The good news is that shedding bark is a natural process that helps the tree stay healthy.

Bark shedding occurs when the outermost layer of the bark peels away from the inner layers. This usually happens in late winter or early spring. It’s normal for small pieces of bark to peel off, but large sheets of bark can be a sign of problems with the tree.

If you see large pieces of bark falling off your elm tree, it’s important to have it checked out by a certified arborist. Shedding bark is often a sign of stressors such as disease, pests, or environmental conditions. An arborist can help diagnose the problem and recommend a course of treatment.

Trees That Shed Bark in the Summer

Shedding bark is a natural process for many trees and usually occurs in the late summer or early fall. The tree’s outermost layer of dead cells called the cortex, peels away from the inner layers of living cells, called the phloem. This process is known as exfoliation and helps trees regulate their temperature, prevent water loss, and protect themselves from pests and diseases.

Some common trees that shed their bark include birch, eucalyptus, paperbark maple, and shagbark hickory. While shedding bark is a normal occurrence for many trees, there are some instances where it can be problematic. If a tree sheds its bark excessively or outside of its regular season, it could be a sign of stress or illness.

If you notice any abnormal shedding, contact an arborist or tree care professional for help diagnosing and treating the problem.

Shedding bark

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is the bark separating from my tree?

Bark separation on a tree can be due to various reasons such as disease, pests, environmental stress, or mechanical damage. Inspect the tree for signs of issues, and consider consulting with an arborist for a more accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

How do you fix peeling tree bark?

Identify Cause: Determine if it’s due to pests, disease, or environmental stress.
Prune Carefully: Trim loose or damaged bark with clean cuts to prevent further tearing.
Promote Tree Health: Ensure proper watering, mulching, and fertilization for overall tree well-being.
Protective Measures: Wrap the affected area with burlap or tree wrap to shield against additional damage.
Address Underlying Issues: Treat pests, diseases, or other issues causing bark peeling.
Regular Monitoring: Keep a close watch and take timely action if problems persist.
Professional Advice: Consult an arborist for a thorough assessment and expert guidance.

Should you water the bark of a tree?

No, avoid watering the bark of a tree:
Water Roots: Direct water to the tree’s root zone, not the trunk or bark.
Bark Rot Risk: Excessive moisture on the bark can lead to rot and disease.
Focus on Base: Water around the base of the tree to benefit the root system.
Morning Watering: Water in the morning to allow time for the bark to dry during the day.
Prevent Fungal Issues: Wet bark is more prone to fungal growth; keeping it dry helps prevent issues.
Maintain Good Drainage: Ensure proper soil drainage to avoid water accumulation around the trunk.


The process of bark shedding is fascinating and happens to trees for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is due to the growth of the tree. As the tree grows, the bark will naturally shed in order to accommodate the new growth.

This process is called exfoliation and it helps the tree to stay healthy by getting rid of any old or damaged bark. There are also times when a tree will shed its bark due to stress or damage. This can be from things like severe weather, fires, or even diseases.

When this happens, it’s important for the tree to be able to quickly regrow its bark so that it can protect itself from further damage. Bark shedding is an amazing process that helps trees stay healthy and protected. It’s something that we often take for granted but it’s actually a very important part of a tree’s life cycle.

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