Maple tree losing bark

Asked June 28, 2017, 6:26 PM EDT

The large maple tree in my back yard has bee losing its bark for the past few years. A few years ago a big mess of vines were growing up the side of the tree. When I pulled them off, the bark underneath had been separated from the trunk and eventually fell off. Each year since, more bark has fallen off. Is my tree sick? Dying? Landscapers have told me so. Can I do anything about to save it?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Unfortunately, your tree is compromised and may be dying.
Trees need their bark as part of their vascular system, moving water and nutrients up and throughout the plant.
While it looks like there is some callous tissue where the tree tried to heal/repair itself, it wasn't successful.
How does the rest of the tree look? We'd guess that the large trunk on the side of the loss is either dead or seriously declining.

Take a look at this page that helps homeowners to know what to look for and when it is time to remove a tree: https://extension.umd.edu/learn/how-do-you-decide-when-remove-tree
It is likely that the structural strength of the tree may be impacted. If its fall (like in a storm) would threaten people or property, you should act sooner rather than later.

Without knowing/seeing more, we can't tell you if there is anything you can do, you could have an expert in tree health, known as a Certified Arborist, do an on-site evaluation of what is going on and give you recommendations.
You can search for a certified arborist at www.treesaregood.org

cm