Forum home Plants

Bark coming off trees

Hi everybody, I've got 2 trees where the bark seems to be coming off, to the extent where there are large pieces on the ground below. Is this natural or are the trees diseased or dying? They look alive and are forming leaves every year. It's been like this for a number of years.
Thanks in advance,


  • WillowBarkWillowBark Posts: 223
    edited 11 February
    It's a bit hard to tell from your photos, as they are a bit dark and not very close up, so my suggestions below should be taken as such and are more based on what you are describing than what I can properly see. If you are able to get some close up photos of the bark that could be really helpful to the more knowledgeable members of the forum. 

    There are a few things I can think of:

    Eucalyptus trees often have bark that peels off and leaves big bits of bark on the floor, although the type that I am familiar with due to a family member having had one came off in scrolls rather than pages, if that makes sense. However, there's definitely more than one type of eucalyptus, so some may behave differently. What do the leaves look like, if you've got a picture of those? Eucalyptus leaves can be quite distinctive. Bark coming off is completely normal for some Eucalyptus.

    There are some trees, such as London Plane, that have bark that sometimes comes off in patches and ends up giving a sort of camouflage / patchwork effect. Yours don't look like I would typically think of them, but they're often seen as heavily pollarded street trees, so yours could be a more natural form of something like that. There may be other trees that also have a similar bark characteristic, but I am not knowledgeable enough to offer more ideas on that front, I am afraid. London Plane leaves have a similar shape to Sycamore.

    It could be that your tree does have some kind of disease or fungus, as when wood dies, the outer bark layer can break away or peel off. However, the dead wood underneath the fallen bark will often look very pale or white and somehow quite bare and clean, if that makes sense. From the pictures you've provided so far, yours doesn't really look like that to me, but if you are at all concerned then it may be wise to get someone in the arboricultural industry e.g. a tree surgeon to give you a professional opinion.

    I am not sure if any of the above are quite the reason for the symptoms you describe in your particular trees, but I hope that they may at least be helpful in terms of a starting point of things to look into.

    Hopefully others will also put forward their thoughts and you will soon be able to get to the bottom of things.
  • Thank you Willowbark, I've attached greater resolution pics and hope they're clearer. I can take closeups tomorrow. They're sycamores.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,671
    edited 11 February
     They're sycamores.
    Perfectly normal.
    Sycamore always has peeling bark.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • WillowBarkWillowBark Posts: 223
    @stringersimon67 Thanks for the additional pictures and the info, much clearer and easier to see now! I agree with @Silver surfer, that looks totally fine and normal to me :)
Sign In or Register to comment.