Do you know what is wrong with my Locust tree? Help???

Asked April 17, 2017, 2:57 PM EDT

We noticed this happening to our 24 year old Locust tree. I think Honey but it could also be a Sunburst. We cut this limb off but another huge branch has the bark all peeling off. So far the rest looks fine. Could you please help me? We have 2 in our front yard and they are our pride and joy! We would appreciate any info that you can give. Thank you so much, we don't know where else to turn. Also, my husband did put roof tar on the big branch where all of the bark is peeling off.

Benton County Minnesota

6 Responses

How and when have you pruned the tree? Do you see any cankers on it? Do you have a photo of where he put the roof tar? Did the honeylocust leaf out well last year and have a healthy growing season?

My husband said that the place he sealed with tar looks something like the attached picture and so far it's only on the one huge branch. He only prunes the dead branches off in early spring or late fall using a pole saw or loppers. It leafed out perfectly last year and had a very healthy growing season. It is now budding and the tree looks fine. Even the bad branch is budding well. I appreciate your attention to this more than you know!

Sorry this took awhile to get back to you again. I'm not sure if there should be big concern, I'm going to check with some other tree care advisors. On the branch that you took off, were there any holes, like woodpecker or insect holes or any tunnels under where the bark was?

No, my husband didn't notice anything like that on the branch that he took off. We have noticed a red squirrel on the tree quite a bit over the winter but not sure if that could have done the damage? Thanks so much for trying to help!

It could be that the squirrels may be the culprits with the stripping bark, squirrels are attracted to the bark for nesting material and food. Unfortunately, if squirrels are the cause of your damage, they are very hard to control.
Since you said it had a healthy growing season last year and is leafing out well this year, it may not be something to concern yourself with too much. Best watering practices for established trees are described in this extension brief:
If your concern continues or conditions change that make you more concerned, you could have a certified arborist come out to have the entire tree examined. I hope this has helped some.

Thank you so much Cindy. I'll keep a close eye on it and call someone if I need to. You've definitely put my mind at ease a bit!