Sick Tulip Poplar

Asked March 18, 2020, 5:09 PM EDT

Concerned about a large poplar on my property. Bark is sheering off a bit, with lot of damage to bark on lower trunk as well. Any ideas on what it is, and should it be treated in some way to stop or reverse it?

Rabun County Georgia

3 Responses

I apologize for the delay of my response. The loss of bark could be the result of many causes. How did the tree look last year during the growing season? Is it beginning to leaf out now? Has the tree sustained any mechanical damage? See how it does this spring. You may need to have an arborist do an onsite assessment of the tree. I do not make site visits. You can find one at the website of the Georgia Arborist Association at

Thanks for getting back to me! I did have an arborist take a look. He determined leaves and debris around tree base is inviting insects to invade the thick bark, and woodpeckers are boring after the insects. The tree is budding out nicely, and the damage has been superficial so far. Debris will be cleared away, loose bark removed, and a treatment for the insects will be applied. Hope that will do it!

Just monitor the tree through the growing season.