Japanese Maple question

izzygator(Z6 Western PA)June 12, 2006

I live in Pittsburgh and noticed that the bark on the trunk of the Japanese Maple in my yard has started to crack and pull away from the trunk. We just moved in and wasn't sure how to take care of this problem. I know some trees have that tape you put around the trunk to protect them, but any suggestions? The tree is about 7 feet tall with about 7 feet circumference, relatively full and quite healthly... I just want to keep it that way!

Any help is greatly appreciated!


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corgilvr(z6 PA)

I wish I could help. You might try posting this on the Maples forum. Lots of good info is available there.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 7:19AM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

Is it possible it's supposed to peel? Perhaps some Japanese Maples have decorative bark, the kind that peels naturally.

Oakleaf hydrangea has exfoliating bark, and when I first saw the bark peel I thought the plant had been winter-killed. It was perfectly healthy, though.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 5:30PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

Paperbark maple actually has peeling bark by breeding. Do the leaves have three parts?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 1:05PM
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izzygator(Z6 Western PA)

It's your typical burgundy colored Acer P. with five lobed pointed leaves. The bark hasn't peeled in the previous two seasons (we have lived here at this house for three years). I may check out the Maples forum next, but since I thought this might be a PA problem, I thought I would post it here first. I have noticed this week that the middle of the tree seems a little thinned out, although there aren't any leaves on the ground...

I have read various things about different types of mulch to use around them... is there any I can use/avoid??

Thanks to all!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 5:14PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Sometimes if there's a section of trunk that dies due to some kind of damage, the bark will peel off. I suspect that's what happened. Maybe the drought last summer had some kind of lasting effect?

I'm no mulch expert but I bet an organic mulch would be best (like shredded bark or wood chips) Don't put it all the way up against the trunk or it may invite decay and insects up close to the damaged trunk - which is exactly what you DON'T want to do.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 11:12PM
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