why is bark falling off my tree

Why is bark falling off my tree? This is a common question that many homeowners have when they notice their trees losing bark. Bark falling off can be caused by a variety of factors, including insect infestations, extreme weather conditions, and disease. In order to determine the cause of the bark loss, it’s important to identify the type of tree and inspect it for signs of damage.There are a few potential causes for bark falling off of your tree. These could include an insect infestation, over-watering, sunscald, extreme weather conditions, and disease. It is important to identify the cause in order to determine the best course of action for treating the tree. If the bark is falling off in large patches, it may be due to disease or insect infestation. If the bark is flaking off in small pieces, it could be due to sunscald or over-watering. In any case, it is important to consult an arborist if your tree experiences any signs of distress.

Tree Bark Loss

Tree bark loss is when the outer layer of a tree’s bark begins to deteriorate. It can be caused by a number of factors, including disease, insects, environmental damage, and physical damage. When the bark is lost, it can cause irreparable harm to the tree as it will no longer be able to protect itself from harm. Here are some of the potential causes of tree bark loss:


Tree diseases can cause significant damage to the bark of a tree. Many diseases are caused by fungi that invade the tree and cause the bark to rot away or crack open. Other diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that weaken the trees defense mechanisms and allow them to be easily invaded by other organisms. These diseases can spread quickly and cause extensive damage if not treated promptly.


Certain insects can cause considerable damage to a tree’s bark as well. Certain species of beetle larvae bore into the tree’s bark and feed off its sapwood or cambium layer. These tiny creatures can create large tunnels through a tree’s trunk and weaken it considerably. Other common pests such as aphids, scale insects, and leaf miners also feed on trees and can cause serious damage if left unchecked.

Environmental Damage

Environmental factors such as extreme weather conditions or air pollution can also contribute to tree bark loss. High winds can strip away the protective outer layer of a tree’s bark while prolonged exposure to sun or frost may cause it to crack open and allow disease-causing organisms to enter in through these openings. Air pollution from factories or vehicle exhaust contains toxins that may damage a tree’s outer layer as well over time.

Physical Damage

Animals such as deer, rabbits, and squirrels may also cause physical damage to a tree’s bark when they rub against it in search for food or shelter. Even humans may inadvertently scrape away parts of a tree’s protective outer layer when climbing on it or pruning it incorrectly with sharp tools which could potentially lead to further problems down the line.

Common Diseases That Lead to Tree Bark Loss

Tree bark loss can be caused by a variety of different diseases and pests. These diseases can cause the bark to become thin, rot, or even fall off completely. Common diseases that lead to tree bark loss include fire blight, cankers, and Dutch elm disease.

Fire blight is a disease caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora. It affects fruit trees such as apple, pear, and quince. Symptoms include dark-colored spots on the leaves and shoots of the tree as well as sunken cankers on the trunk or branches. If left untreated, fire blight can lead to serious damage and even the death of trees.

Cankers are lesions or wounds in the trunk or branches of a tree caused by fungus or bacteria. Cankers can spread quickly and cause dead patches on bark, wilting leaves, and eventually death if not treated quickly.

Dutch elm disease is a fungal infection that affects elm trees. It is spread by beetles that feed on infected trees and transmit it to healthy ones. Symptoms include yellowing of leaves, wilting foliage, and splitting bark along with oozing sap from infected areas of the tree’s trunk or branches. The disease is fatal if not treated promptly.

How to Identify a Disease in Your Tree

The health of your trees is critical to the overall health and beauty of your landscape. Unfortunately, many trees are susceptible to disease and pests, and it is important to identify any signs of disease as soon as possible. Here are some tips for identifying a disease in your tree:

1. Inspect the tree for visible signs of damage or discoloration. Check the trunk, branches, and leaves for any abnormalities such as cankers, wilting, discoloration, or dieback. These could be signs of a disease or pest infestation.

2. Look for changes in the foliage or bark. Diseased trees often have discolored foliage or bark that is peeling or cracked. Fungal diseases can cause spots on leaves or stems, while insect infestations can cause mottled foliage or galls on the bark.

3. Be aware of changes in the overall appearance of the tree. A healthy tree should have even growth and full foliage; diseased trees may show signs of stunted growth, an asymmetrical shape, sparse foliage, or missing branches.

4. Take note if the tree is losing its leaves prematurely or at an abnormal rate; this could be a sign that it is under stress from a pest infestation or disease infection.

5. Contact an arborist if you suspect that your tree has been infected with a disease; they will be able to diagnose the problem and provide treatment options.

By taking these steps you can help ensure that any diseases in your trees are identified early on before they become too severe and cause permanent damage to your landscape’s health and beauty!

Insects and Other Pests That Damage Trees

Tree pests can cause significant damage to trees and shrubs, both aesthetically and structurally. Common tree pests include insects, mites, nematodes, and diseases. These pests can affect the health of a tree by feeding on its foliage, trunk, or roots. Proper identification of the pest is necessary in order to effectively control it. Here are some common tree pests and the damage they can cause:

Insects: Insects such as borers, aphids, scale insects, caterpillars, beetles, sawflies, and leafminers feed on foliage or other plant parts. In some cases they may cause enough damage to kill a tree. Borers create tunnels in the trunk or branches of a tree which weakens them and may lead to branch breakage. Aphids and scale insects suck sap from leaves causing them to become discolored or distorted. Caterpillars feed on foliage causing it to become thinned out or skeletonized. Sawflies feed on new growth causing it to be stunted or distorted while leafminers tunnel through leaves creating blotches of dead tissue.

Mites: Spider mites are tiny arachnid pests that feed on foliage by piercing it with their mouthparts and sucking out its sap. They can cause leaves to become discolored or bronzed as well as webbing between branches or needles. Heavy infestations can weaken trees leading to branch dieback or death of the entire tree.

Nematodes: Root-knot nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on the root systems of trees causing lesions that can lead to girdling roots which inhibits water uptake leading to decline in health of the tree over time.

Diseases: Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, rust fungi, Armillaria root rot (shoestring root rot), Verticillium wilt, Dutch elm disease and oak wilt are common problems for trees. These diseases are often caused by environmental conditions such as wet weather combined with poor air circulation in dense plantings resulting in large amounts of decaying organic matter at the base of trees that act as a host for fungal spores which spread from one tree to another through root grafts between connected roots systems below ground.

Fungal Diseases That Cause Tree Bark Loss

Fungal diseases can cause significant damage to trees, including bark loss. Fungal diseases that cause bark loss can range from mild to severe and may even be fatal if left untreated. The most common fungal diseases that cause tree bark loss are armillaria root rot, white pocket rot, and phytophthora root rot.

Armillaria root rot is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Armillaria mellea. It often starts at the base of the tree and then spreads up the trunk. Symptoms include yellowing leaves, wilting, and eventually bark loss. This type of fungus prefers moist soil conditions and is most common in coniferous trees such as pine, fir, spruce, and cedar.

White pocket rot is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis polonica. This type of fungus has an affinity for wet wood and is often found in areas with poor drainage or high humidity. Symptoms include discoloration of the bark and eventual bark loss or cracking of the bark in circular patterns around the trunk of the tree.

Phytophthora root rot is a fungal disease caused by Phytophthora spp., which thrive in wet soil conditions similar to armillaria root rot but are more common in deciduous trees such as oaks and maples. Symptoms include wilting of leaves, discoloration of the bark, and eventual bark loss or cracking of the bark around the trunk of the tree.

In order to prevent these fungal diseases from causing significant damage to trees it is important to monitor for signs of infection such as discolored foliage or cracked bark on a regular basis. If infection is suspected it is important to contact a certified arborist immediately for treatment advice as these types of infections can spread quickly throughout a landscape if not treated promptly.

What to Do if Your Tree Has Lost Its Bark

If your tree has lost its bark, it can be a worrying sight. Trees can lose their bark for a variety of reasons, such as insect infestations or disease. While it may seem like a daunting issue, there are steps you can take to help your tree regain its bark and get back to its healthy state.

The first step in helping your tree is to identify the cause of the problem. Insects and diseases can cause bark loss, as well as extreme weather conditions and physical injuries. If you suspect an insect infestation, inspect the area around the tree for signs such as sawdust or wood-boring beetle larvae. If you think the problem may be a disease, look for signs such as discolored spots on the leaves or wilting branches. Knowing what is causing the problem will help you determine how to best proceed with treatment.

Once you have identified the cause of your tree’s bark loss, it is important to take action quickly to prevent further damage from occurring. This could include spraying insecticides if there is an insect infestation or applying fungicides if there is a disease present. Additionally, be sure to keep up with proper care techniques such as watering and pruning in order to promote healthy growth in your tree.

If your tree has suffered physical damage that has caused it to lose its bark, it may need surgery in order for it to begin healing properly. Surgery involves removing any dead or damaged wood and then sealing off any remaining wounds with pruning paint or tar-based products in order to protect against pests and disease while the tree heals itself naturally over time.

Finally, keep an eye on your tree over time after taking these steps so that you can monitor its progress and make sure it is recovering properly. With proper care and attention, your tree should be able to recover from its bark loss and get back on track towards healthiness again!

The Effects of Sunburn on Trees

Sunburn is a common problem for many trees, especially those growing in urban environments. Trees that are exposed to too much direct sunlight can suffer from sunburn, which can damage the bark and leaves of the tree. Sunburn causes the bark of the tree to become discolored and brittle, and it can also cause foliage to become scorched or bleached. Sunburned trees are more susceptible to disease and insect infestations, and in extreme cases, it can even lead to death.

The best way to prevent sunburn on trees is by providing adequate shade. This can be done by planting other trees or shrubs around them that will provide cover when the sun is at its highest point. In some cases, it may also be necessary to use temporary shade cloths or tarps when the tree is young and still growing. Proper irrigation is also important for preventing sunburn; trees should be watered regularly during dry periods in order to keep them hydrated and reduce stress from heat exposure.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of sunburn on trees. The most common symptoms are discolored bark, wilting leaves, and premature leaf drop. This can often be remedied by providing adequate shade or using a fungicide to treat any fungal infections that may have caused the damage. If a tree has severe symptoms of sunburn, it may need professional attention from a certified arborist in order to restore it back into healthy condition.


Bark falling off a tree may be indicative of a variety of issues, ranging from pest infestations to environmental stressors. Ultimately, the underlying cause of bark shedding needs to be identified in order to effectively manage the tree and return it to a healthy state. In many cases, professional arborists may need to be consulted in order to properly diagnose and treat the tree.

In any case, it is important for individuals who observe bark falling off their trees to take proactive measures in order to protect their landscapes from further damage. This can include inspecting nearby trees for signs of distress, pruning dead or damaged branches, and providing additional nutrients when needed. Taking these steps can help ensure that trees remain healthy and continue providing all the benefits they offer.