Bark peeling from young ornamental Ash tree base

Asked March 12, 2020, 7:48 PM EDT

When the snow melted last week, we noticed that the bark from the base of our ornamental ash tree had fallen off and it appeared to be crumbled around the base of the tree. What is the probable cause and what can be done to save our tree. It was super healthy last year and showed no sign of any trouble. Will be very thankful for your expert opinion. Thank you.

Olmsted County Minnesota

1 Response

My guess is this is critter damage. Possibilities include mice, voles, rabbits, squirrels or porcupines. Read here:
https://forestrynews.blogs.govdelivery.com/2018/05/04/porcupine-and-squirrel-damage-on-trees/

If the damage is all the way around the tree, the tree probably won't survive. There is nothing you can do now to save the tree. In the future, plan for these critters by using some kind of protection (hardware cloth, fencing, and so on). Read here:
https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/protecting-trees-and-shrubs-winter