Truck damage

Asked April 15, 2019, 6:29 PM EDT

I have a Shumard Oak that we transplanted due to water in the first area. The truck appears to be flacking away and the truck is not withstanding the wind we have in north Texas. Is it going to die?

Denton County Texas

2 Responses

Thank you for contacting Texas A&M AgriLife Ask an Expert. Your tree may have become predisposed to problems caused by environmental stresses from transplanting it, drought or frost. When the living tissue just beneath the bark is injured and dies it may become incapable of holding the bark in place. This does not mean that the tree will die. That being said, we do not recommend removing the bark.

From the pictures you provided, it does appear the tree was planted too deep. You may be able to reduce the issues caused by planting too deep by excavating about a foot out from the stem and down to the top of the first large roots. Apply mulch around the tree, 5” away from the trunk and no more than 2” to 4” deep.

Irrigate the tree only when necessary. If the first 4 - 6” of the soil are dry, you may want to water the tree. Your landscape needs about 1” of water per week in the heat of the summer, so plan to supplement any rainfall to reach that amount.

You may also want to contact a certified arborist to assess the tree. You can find a certified arborist that works in your area at this link:

I will also pass along the pictures to one of the Denton County Master Gardener tree specialists for any additional advice. Please contact us at with any additional questions.



I have been asked to view the pictures of your tree and give an additional response. I am concerned because the bark loss is substantial and seems to be ongoing. The inner bark and the trunk just beneath it is the area that supplies transports water and nutrients between the leaves, branches, and roots. When this area is damaged the tree tries to seal the wound by forming a callous over it. The nutrition transport function is not restored. From the pictures, I think your tree is stressed, weakened, and has lost too much bark to seal the wounds.

The general rule is that a tree that has lost bark over 50% or more of the trunk circumference is in peril of death. It looks like borers and fungus have attacked the tree, and these conditions often follow when a tree is in decline or dying . If the tree is near your house or other structures you should have it removed so it does not become a safety hazard.

I have attached some articles that will help you assess the tree.

If you decide to keep the tree because you want to wait and see how it does, I suggest that you contact a certified arborist to help you evaluate your decision. The information for finding a certified arborist was given in the first answer posted.

Thank you again for your question. I hope this helps.