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On rare occasions, bark loss might occur suddenly. That is what happens when lightning strikes a tree. As a rule, however, vanishing bark reflects the existence of a problem that has gone undetected.

Possible reasons for bark loss

Among some trees, the disappearance of the trunk’s older protective layer (bark) makes space for introduction of newer tissues. A gardener should test the health of the newer tissues. Sometimes, bark falls off after a sudden drop in temperature. By the same token, a sudden rise in the air’s temperature could trigger a disappearance of the trunk’s outer tissues.

Indications that bark loss should be viewed as the sign of a more serious problem

• Bark’s disappearance noted in combination with other troubling changes:
• Cankers grow on trunk. Sap leaks from the cankers.
• Branches filled with dead leaves
• Dead twigs observed at ends of branches

Actions homeowner might take, after noting existence of a serious tree problem

Hydrate the affected tree: A tree cannot carry out all of its basic functions, if it finds it impossible to obtain adequate amounts of water. For that reason, it always pays to try watering a tree that has lost its bark.

Place organic mulch over the tree’s roots: Be careful about the amount of mulch used. If not used sparingly, the mulch could harm some of the trees with vanishing bark.

Look for signs of pests: Stand prepared to follow-up on the appearance of such signs.

• Has a substance that resembled sawdust been spotted in the area around one of more trees?
• Are dead leaves hanging from the branches of many trees? That is another sign that a serious problem has caused the changes in the tree’s surroundings
• Are there any places on the bark where cankers are growing? Are those same cankers leaking sap? If the answer to that combination of questions is “yes” and “yes,” then proceed to take the next logical step.
• Are dead leaves hanging from the branches of many trees? That is another sign that a serious problem has caused the changes in the tree’s surroundings.
• Is a fuzzy fungus growing on the studied trees? That does not belong on a healthy plant. Read on, in order to learn what action you should take.

Contact and consult with a professional arborist in Palo Alto. Discover which of the possible problems has caused the detected signal, the one that might accompany an occurrence of bark loss. Following the discovery of the precise problem, take the next step.

Try to follow the arborist’s advice. That advice could push you to buy a certain product. Alternately, it might motivate you to launch a special project. It should work to ease your concerns about bark loss.