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Trees/Maple tree bark splitting

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Question
I Have a very old Maple(planted in 1923)whose bark is pulling away and starting to split from the the main trunk. The wood underneath looks firm and healthy. I first noticed it mid-summer last year (6/2012).  The leaves and branches are still healthy and show no signs of disease.  Is there anything I can do to prevent this from continuing?  should I pull the loose bark off?  thanks for anything you can tell me.  Appreciate it!

Answer
This sounds normal for older maples. Over time maples will slough off bark. As long as the foliage is green and healthy looking and there is no sign of insect activity where the bark is peeling--the tree seems OK. Insect activity would be holes and sawdust or oozing of sap. Do not pull the bark off it will come of by itself. Pull it may damage the cambium layer under the bark and expose it to insects.  

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Jim Hyland

Expertise

I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.

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34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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