Peeling Bark on Maples

nishamhran(z8OR)June 22, 2006

The bark is peeling off my larger maples about 2 -6 inches above the soil level. All maples were 5 gallon size planted in the last 6 months to 1 year. On two trees, bark is peeling in neat strips above or below the graft. On the other trees, bark is peeling from what seems to be scratch or gnaw marks on the trunk. Is this the work of squirrels, neighborhood cats, or something else? Could dry soil be responsible for peeling bark?

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Shredding of bark on maples (Japanese in particular) in spring in the PNW is often attributed to squirrels - unfortunately, a very common problem here. They strip the very thin and tender bark for nesting material. Wrapping loosely with chicken wire is a good deterrent or you could try the tree wrap product that you coat with something like Tanglefoot. This tends to be a very seasonal problem, so either way, it is something you could remove later in the season.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:32AM
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Thanks gardengal. In desperation last night, I cut up small pieces of bubble wrap and very loosely wrapped that around the affected areas figuring the squirrels would "buzz off" when they heard the bubbles burst. Do you think it's ok to leave the bubblewrap in place, or might it encourage fungal growth?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:41PM
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Bubble wrap or anything else that is impervious to moisture and impedes air flow would not be my first choice.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 6:48AM
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