Strange bark pattern

Asked November 2, 2019, 10:22 AM EDT

See the attached photos. My daughter and her class found this during a forestry lab. Instructor says it's a red maple but can't explain the strange bark pattern. What would cause this? I think it looks man made.

Michael Dugan

Lycoming County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Hello and thanks for using the Ask an Expert System.

Could you provide additional information such as where this photo was taken? How was the tree identified?

I spoke to Penn State Extension Urban Forester, Vincent Cotrone. He stated, “Not sure what the actual cause of the issue is, but it could be something like the formation of Burls, which are growths on the trunks of trees that are often caused by a bacterium.”

If you have additional questions you can contact the Lycoming County Master Gardener Hotline.

Lycoming County Penn State Extension Office