My sequoia is dropping bark

Asked January 10, 2019, 1:05 PM EST

I have an approximately 55 year old sequoia, and it's losing bark. Sudden, I'd say in the last two months. The bark is piled right below the damaged area like it just dropped. It almost looks like it is a cat scratching area but really large, limited to one side of tree, from ground to 6 feet up, three patches, all behind trellisses. No claw marks. The trellises are simply leaning against trunk, no weight, no screws/nails. They are sheltered from wind and don't move. The plant on the trellis is jasmine, its healthy, and less than 1 year there, not grown enough to block any air circulation. What is your opinion? Thank you.
Karen

Coos County Oregon forestry

1 Response

This looks like squirrel damage, the squirrels are possibly peeling the bark for nesting material or trying to get under the bark to eat the cambium. Have you seen squirrels in your yard? Redwood has thick bark, so unless they are getting through the bark this may not cause lasting damage. You might consider moving the trellises as they may provide shelter for the squirrels as they strip the bark. Wrapping sheet metal (about two feet high) around the base of the tree might help prevent the squirrels from stripping the bark at the base, although if there are any trees or structures close by squirrels can easily jump over to tree and strip the bark higher up. I hope this helps! Let me know if you get a positive identification on the critter.

Norma