Distressed Maples - Knowledgebase Question

Sistersville, WV
Question by joe138
August 14, 1999
I have a few trees on my property mostly maple that are losing their bark starting from the top of the trees most of the trees are about 50 feet tall. I have noticed that around the area that there are many trees loosing their bark. I am wondering if it is caused by locusts or drought. Please tell me why and if there is anything I can do for these trees.

Answer from NGA
August 14, 1999


Maples don't generally drop their bark unless there's some sort of injury. If insects do damage, or if the bark is sunburned, it could peel away. Since the problem seems to be on the newest, most tender bark, I'd suspect a cultural problem; perhaps sun and drought. Locusts generally feed within a few feet of the surface of the soil, not 50' in the air, so unless there's extreme competition from hordes for very little food, I don't think locusts are the cause of the problem. Trees that are stressed can attract all kinds of disease and insect problems, simply because they are stressed. I'd take a wait and see attitude. If the trees were thriving prior to the drought stress of this year, they will probably survive and recover. If they were ailing, this additional stress may do them in. There's really nothing you can do but wait, and hope for the best!

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