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Avatar for jzapata
May 9, 2020 6:35 PM CST
Los Angeles, Ca
We have a beautiful 15 year old Tipu tree in our front yard. In the past several months it has started to split its bark and in the past 3 weeks it has lost a ton of leaves. I am in the Los Angeles area and we had significant rain several weeks ago and are now undergoing some higher heat.

I do not recall the tree ever losing leaves like this nor shedding bark.

Given the current situation I have been unable to get a respectable tree person to come look at it so I am hopeful that someone here may be able to assist me.

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Avatar for CalPolygardener
May 9, 2020 11:21 PM CST
California (Zone 9b)
Welcome! to the forum jzapata!

It's quite normal for Tipus to drop lots of leaves this time of year; you should see my messy driveway. New growth should be popping out any day now. The split bark is a different problem entirely. In the first picture it looks like the bark is peeling away from the trunk more than normal. Can you see actual wood underneath? Does the split go through to the other side? Does that lower branch look "weaker" than the others , with smaller twiggier branches?

Overall the tree looks pretty normal and the only concerning thing is that lowest branch which could be removed without damaging the balance of the tree. Give it some more time, it's not going to die before you can get someone out to look at it. Make sure the person who advises you is an ISA Certified Arborist, they're trained in tree assessment and won't steer you wrong.
Avatar for jzapata
May 10, 2020 4:32 PM CST
Los Angeles, Ca
Thank you for the response. Yeah, my next door neighbors are not so thrilled about all the leaves right now. lol.

The peeling bark was my concern as well. It has never done this before and I know that other trees do shed bark when the trunks grow. I was not sure if that is what is happening here or if it is common for this type of tree.

In regards to the split. It does not go through the tree, it is only the outer layer of bark that seems to be wanting to peel away. I have attached some more images so you can see the area better.

The lower level branch is strong and has been there since we got the tree. All three of our kids grew up hanging off of that branch, lol.

Thanks again for all the help.


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