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Willow without bark.

We have some young willow trees in our garden, 5 or 6 years old and grown from cuttings. We also have a couple of thousand similar trees being grown from cuttings or cell grown stock.

A few of the trees started to have peeling bark and they have essentially lost the whole lot over a period or years. The surprising thing is that they continue to grow, both above the bare area and also with new growth within the bare area. Is this normal?

In the photo the light areas are where the bark has gone, the dark areas where bits remain. The leave at the bottom are from a rose, just to confuse matters.
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