Peeling back from tree

Asked August 27, 2016, 2:58 PM EDT

Hi, A large tree in my front yard began shedding bark this year (I haven't noticed it in the past). I am curious if the tree is diseased and this is something that I need to address soon. I'm not sure of the type of tree but I think it is a sycamore. Please see the photos to help identify. Thank you!

Jefferson County Colorado trees and shrubs

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.aspxhttp://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/trees/hgic1022.html

See also http://www-pub.naz.edu/~treewalk/platanus/sycamore2.htm

Thank you for contacting your local Colorado Master Gardeners

in your local Colorado State University Extension Office, Jefferson County