Sycamore tree bark falling

Asked August 14, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT

Two sycamores, 50+ old, large, bark falling off branches in large strips and all over - any idea of casue and or if a serious problem?

Ingham County Michigan trees and shrubs horticulture

1 Response

Flaking bark is common for Sycamores, some years more than others. Sycamores grow quickly and can live for hundreds of years. With all the rain we have had this year; some trees have grown especially fast. As the girth of the sycamore tree expands, the brittle bark tends to crack and come loose. There is no cause for concern. If fact, the resulting green, white, and cream bark patches are quite beautiful

Basically, the bark of most young trees is smooth and thin. As the tree grows, the bark layer thickens with the outermost tissue eventually dying. Continued growth pushes the bark outward, sometimes causing the outer layers to crack. On some trees, the outer dead layers peel and drop off, revealing the inner layers of bark. Shedding or peeling bark is characteristic of trees such as the Sycamore. The grayish brown bark on a large sycamore tree, for example, flakes off in irregular blotches, revealing a cream or whitish gray inner bark. The loss of the outer layers of bark on sycamores is completely normal.

Additional information about Sycamore trees:
http://ohiodnr.com/forestry/trees/sycamore_amer/tabid/5424/Default.aspx http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/trees/hgic1022.html