8 Causes of Damaged Bark on Trees in Denver, CO

What causes damaged bark on trees around your yard? 

Below, Bear Creek Tree Service, an expert tree service in Denver, explains some of the leading causes and what they do to remedy them.

damaged bark on tree

#1 Insect Infestation

Insects are the leading culprits when it comes to damaged bark. You’ll see signs of boring into the wood to get at the heartwood so that the insect can lay their eggs in the bark. The hatchlings (larvae) then eat the juicy wood from the inside out, disrupting the flow of nutrients. 

A bridge graft may save the tree if you can eradicate the bugs early enough.

#2 Animal Damage

Many creatures will scratch at the tree’s trunk to look for food, including the tender wood inside a young tree. Others might be looking for insects living in the bark or, like bears, damage the tree by climbing it. Deer also groom themselves by rubbing their antlers on the surface of the tree, which breaks its branches or thin trunk.

#3 Bird Damage

You might be surprised to learn that not all woodpeckers harm trees. In fact, most woodpeckers actually help the tree by eating bugs and only stripping small sections of bark. However, the sapsuckers (one species of woodpecker) cause terrible damage by drilling holes to drink the sap, which injures a young tree’s interior.

#4 Weak Trees

If the tree’s already ailing when the damage occurs, its chances of survival plummet. If you notice that it’s shedding bark and not replacing it, call tree care professionals immediately, as this may be a sign that the young tree is dying. 

#5 Sunburn

Sunburn is one of the leading causes of damaged bark on tree specimens that people have over-pruned. Trees are much like humans in that their bark can burn and peel away, particularly in winter if they lose their leaves. Eventually, a sunburned but otherwise healthy tree should just regrow the bark, but it’s good to keep an eye on it.

#6 Gardening Equipment 

Trimmers are dangerous for young trees, and lawnmowers toss up stones. The tree will recover with careful treatment, but if the wounds are jagged, consider bark tracing services to clean up the edges. The tree will heal quicker that way.

#7 Fungus

Common trees often fall prey to fungi, which manifests as follows:

  • Abnormal growths and cankers
  • Mushrooms on the bark or roots
  • Peeling bark
  • Soft spots in the trunk
  • Leaf discoloration
  • Branch dieback 

Call an arborist before the problem spreads. Treating the tree can support its recovery, even if some judicious pruning is in order.

#8 Broken Branches

When a branch breaks off, it might tear the bark off the trunk. This is one of the easiest causes of damage to identify. Gently prune the dead branch and neaten the tear’s edges to promote your tree’s recovery.

Contact the Tree Experts for More Tips

Dealing with damaged bark on trees and trying to remove dead tree branches can be more complicated than you think. Get it right every time by calling Bear Creek Tree Service! Call 720-299-1409 to schedule a professional consultation today. 

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