top of page


Tree losing bark

Tree bark is a protective coating that separates the internal structure of a tree from external elements. Peeling bark can be normal, but it can also be a sign that your tree needs help. Here are some of the reasons why your tree might be losing its bark.

1. Exfoliation Like the way human skin sheds old cells, trees sometimes shed their bark. Normal exfoliation happens regularly and is more common in certain species like paper birch. It also occurs when a tree grows. As it grows, the outer layer expands and it sheds its old bark. This process is more noticeable as trees get older and drier. 2. Environmental causes Extreme weather fluctuations can cause your tree to lose its bark. The following are common environmental factors that can result in peeling:

  • Frost. After the first frost of the cold season, your tree will naturally lose some bark.

  • Sun scalding. This occurs in the winter when the warm sun wakes the dormant cells beneath the bark. When the sun sets, the trunk cools and the activated cells freeze, causing the bark to crack.

  • Drought. Trees may succumb to drought and begin to peel.

3. Insects Peeling that starts toward the bottom of your tree could be a sign of infestation with a boring insect like the Emerald Ash Borer. These pests feed off trees, disrupting their vascular system and eventually causing them to die. Other insects like ants and bees can also cause problems. An arborist can help get rid of harmful pests. 4. Animals Squirrels, rabbits, gophers and other animals can cause extensive damage to trees. They’re known to gnaw at and even chew off strips of bark. 5. Disease Peeling bark can be a sign of poor health. It can be the result of a fungal disease or other illness. Extensive bark loss will cause your tree to lose nutrients and can result in death. A sick tree will often show other signs of illness such as cankers, dead leaves, root rot and seeping fluid. 6. Death In extreme cases, if the peeling is widespread or occurs quickly, it may be a sign that your tree is dying. If you act quickly, you may be able to save your tree with the help of a professional arborist.


Is your tree experiencing problematic shedding or cracking? If so, the experts at All Season Tree Service are here to help. Our professional arborists in Alberta can diagnose the tree issue and begin treatment. We offer comprehensive tree care services in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Leduc, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Beaumont & surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


bottom of page