The bark is falling off my tree. Why is this happening?

Close up on the bark on the trunk of a pine tree in the forest in autumn.

The bark can fall off your tree for various reasons. Serious tree diseases and tree pest infestations can inflict severe damage to your trees and cause the bark to fall off. On the other hand, natural factors such as the variety of the tree and tree growth are no issues of concern.

What tree diseases cause bark to fall off trees?

  • Hypoxylon Canker: Fort Worth is experiencing a dramatic increase of infected trees targeted by this swift-spreading fungal pathogen. It invades all varieties of oak trees that are weak, stressed or wounded. The tree will at first exhibit premature defoliation, reduced growth and discolored leaves. As the disease worsens, crusty areas will develop on the tree’s bark and the bark will turn brownish-black and flake off. The tree is beyond saving at this point and it becomes a threat to life and property. Call an experienced tree company immediately if your oak tree is declining or you observe flaking bark on your tree!
  • Dutch Elm Disease: Texas elm trees have been devastated by this deadly vascular pathogen for several decades. Dutch elm disease (DED) targets weak trees and all varieties of elms. Thinning foliage, dead branches and brittle, peeling bark indicate its invasion. DED causes the tree’s death in less than eight weeks; therefore, do not delay in contacting an arborist that treats sick trees when you observe these symptoms manifesting on your tree or you sense its health is lessening.
  • Fireblight: There is no cure for this deadly bacterial pathogen. Fireblight is spread quickly via wind and rain in cool, spring Texas weather. This lethal tree disease targets fruit trees that produce pome (pit-centered) fruit. The infected tree will at first exhibit misshapen, unsightly foliage and dead branches. As the disease progresses the bark will blacken, become brittle and begin falling off the tree. Aggressive action must be taken quickly to halt this bacterial nemesis so call an experienced tree company immediately if you have a sick tree with bark falling.

What insects pests make tree bark fall off?

  • Pine Bark Beetles: In Fort Worth pine bark beetle infestation is increasing rapidly, and ISA certified arborists, tree doctors and tree experts are on high alert! These beetles love Texas summer weather and target fir trees that are weak and vulnerable. The infested evergreen tree will first exhibit an overall unhealthy appearance and fading of the tree’s needles. Definitive indications of pine bark beetle infestation are pin-sized holes on the tree’s trunk and branches and flaking off of the tree’s bark. The infested tree cannot be saved once advanced symptoms become evident; therefore, call a tree doctor quickly when your tree’s health appears to be declining or you observe beetles on your tree or outdoor grounds.
  • Wood Borers: These are the most destructive tree pests and they inflict irreparable damage to trees. Wood borers have become extremely prevalent in Fort Worth and the surrounding cities, as they infest many popular tree varieties. In the beginning stages of wood borer infestation the tree will manifest premature defoliation, wilted foliage and dead, broken branches. D-shaped marks and brittle bark falling will occur as their infestation increases. Left untreated, they will destroy your tree quickly. Contact an arbor care professional immediately if you observe that your tree is exhibiting these symptoms.

When is it okay for the bark to fall off trees?

  • TREE VARIETIES: There are numerous tree varieties that naturally shed their bark in peeling strips or large chunks. Some bark-shedding trees include redbud, birch, sycamore and silver maple. Call a tree care specialist if you are in question as to whether your tree naturally sheds its bark.
  • NATURAL TREE GROWTH PROCESS:As trees grow larger, they naturally shed their bark. This is a normal tree growth process and there is no reason to be concerned.

How can I find out what is causing the bark to fall off?

Always contact the best arborist in Fort Worth, Texas and schedule a complimentary consultation with a tree expert. The experienced plant pathologist will then evaluate the health of your tree and provide a diagnosis report. If it is determined that the tree in question has a serious tree disease or insect infestation then the tree doctor will administer the treatment needed and see to it that the health of your tree is restored.