Bark Sloughing

Asked November 4, 2016, 6:39 PM EDT

We had a very wet and hot summer into a very dry and hot Fall. A large old tree in our yard has begun Sloughing its bark and there seems to be a fungus on the base. Should we be concerned?

Hinds County Mississippi

1 Response

You absolutely should be concerned. Bark is the outer protection layer of cells on a tree's vascular system. Just inside the bark, the cambium layer, contains the only 'living' cells for the specimen. Without the bark, this living cambium layer (xylem & phloem cells) is exposed to insect and disease attacks. Unfortunately, if the tree is extruding fungal growth from cracks in the bark near the tree's root collar - this is a sign of major internal damage, low on the structure, and can cause the tree to succumb to structural failure. I would highly suggest you have a 'certified' arborist come out and conduct a site evaluation of the tree's entire condition and make recommendations. You can find a 'certified' arborist by visiting the International Society of Arborculture's website: www.isa-arbor.com/. This condition did not come from this year's weather. For the tree to loose bark and fungal bodies to grow, this decaying situation has been taking place (hidden from your view) for a few years.

You can also check with your local forest service for recommendations. ~DOT