It usually isn’t an indicator that anything is wrong, but there are many reasons why a tree can lose its bark. The most common reason for a tree to lose it’s bark is that it is simply growing out of it, and it has to shed the bark to give room for growth. Other reasons include, animals ripping into it for various reasons, disease or insect infestation.

tree bark diseases and shedding


A trees core will form new layers, and by this way it will grow as the fibrous tissues expand. When this expansion happens on the inside, the outside bark will have to expand to allow for new growth, and in turn the bark will be shed. When dealing with a young tree, the supple skin is flexible and able to expand like an elastic when new growth is happening. Older trees however, have a brittle characteristic and lack the elasticity which cause fracking and splitting as the tree goes through a growth spurt. There are species of trees like the paper or white birch, that shed their bark in strips that curl up and expose the inside layers that are named cambium. When a birch tree is healthy, the exposed layers will heal fairly quickly; however if a tree is weakened by things like drought, disease or damage from infestations, this exposed inside will offer more easy access and blow up the problem even further.


Sometimes there are diseases that are fungal and can develop just under a tree’s bark and make it fall off in in random places of the trunk, you can see the pieces of bark on the ground. The tree can eventually die if a disease such as canker enter through the bark of the tree and cause its bark to die and shed its bark which in turn would leave the tree exposed. If it isn’t dealt with in time, a stand of trees can be infected and then you’d have a much larger problem to handle. There are various types of cankers, however they are all the same in how they appear on trees, which is usually in the form of brown, red or black lesions on healthy bark. These can be identified on various species of trees which include maples, birch, willows and beech trees, where the dead bark drops of the trunks after it’s decomposed somewhat. According to some research, cankers are often caused by fluctuating temperatures, drought and too much water which in turn damages the trees tissue.

common reasons a tree looses its bark


Different animals leave their mark on trees. Porcupines , voles and squirrels can chew off bark to eat or medical. Woodpeckers make holes in trees that have thin bark to access the sap and attract insects they can eat with it. Other damage can be done by birds that are seeking nesting material to use, and so they may find stripping young trees bark as a good source. If it’s a healthy tree, and there is only minor bark damage, it will heal on its own. When damage inflicted by chewing and it completely wraps around a limb or  branch. This will usually result in the death of the branch above the circle of damage.

Insects can usually affect a few or one species of tree, and they are usually only active within an area of a few thousand acres with their infestation lasting a few years. There are accessions of course where a large population can cause severe epidemics over vast areas. Also diseases can establish in areas and the problem can persist for years. Find out 10 questions to ask when hiring a tree care service company to inspect your trees bark. 

Contact Toronto Tree Services GTA for a free no obligation consultation today. (647) -793-9265  or check out our tree removal  live events page.