Rhododendron bark looks like it is rubbed off

Asked June 24, 2018, 12:48 PM EDT

Hello, I have large group of very full & tall ( > 15 ft tall) rhododendrons at the base of a large old tree. These rhododendron are probably over 40 yrs old. Because this group is so big, there is a very shady and almost cave-like spot under the boughs of these rhodo's that is big enough for someone to walk under. Just today, I saw that some of the bark is missing. There is no curling bark seen and it does not look like the deer have eaten it or rubbed against it. (The bark is missing much to high up on the limbs and in odd spots. How do I find out what this is so we can prevent more from happening? These are much too beautiful to lose

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

It's possible that a squirrel is gnawing on the bark, but we really can't say without a photo. Please take photos of the affected bark and attach to a reply.

If there is dead wood above the missing bark, prune it out now.

Here is a diagnostic chart for rhododendrons: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/TreesandShrubs/...