I have an issue with my trees. They have been gradually shedding bark and now it's to the point where a couple limbs have fallen off this spring.

I've attached the pictures and hope someone will have a suggestion. I live in Northwestern NJ, USA if that helps.

Hoping to know what is it, what I can do to fix it, and determine if its salvageable. I'd hate to have to cut down trees.

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  • That's not 'fallen off' its been wrenched off, or looks like it has... the wood exposed doesn't look unhealthy. What's going on in the crown of the tree, anything odd, like dead branches or stunted growth?
    – Bamboo
    May 5, 2018 at 21:41
  • it was wrenched off because it was tapped very lightly and was hanging on....the bottom of the tree is all green...there are lots of dry branches...despite the fact that we have had a lot of recent rain and some other trees dont look like that May 5, 2018 at 21:46
  • i added a 3rd image...hope that might add more info...appreciate your input May 5, 2018 at 21:48
  • If you've got bare branches up in the crown, something's going on - check the whole of the trunk and (if you can) woody branches higher up - you're looking for soft spots, signs of weeping, anything that shouldn't be there. That last photo you uploaded still doesn't show the upper parts of the tree
    – Bamboo
    May 5, 2018 at 21:48
  • i added a 4th image...there's a lot of bare or close to bare branches...kinda odd for the 1st week of may May 5, 2018 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


I was only able to see one image. Your bark looks just fine. The branches that are thin and below the canopy get thin and scraggly because the tree itself cuts them off from supplies, water. If a branch doesn't have leaves that are getting enough sun, those leaves and branches get eliminated by the tree itself because they aren't providing enough for their own upkeep. Those leaves make food for the tree's functions, carbohydrates for energy. If a branch has leaves that aren't getting enough light to make enough food to maintain that branch and its leaves, the tree dumps the 'free loaders'...

I do see a major problem at the bottom of your trunk. Soil has been beefed up around the base and you need to get that pulled away from the bark of your tree. Only the top of the root ball should be beneath the soil, nothing, no soil, no weeds, no bark mulch, no rock mulch, no mass moss can be on the bark of a tree. This holds moisture on the bark long enough to promote bacteria and they will girdle your tree by damaging the cambium. Girdling this way is a slow sure death and can be seen sometimes by part of the tree dying.

I'll try to see your other pictures.

I found them...grins.

This is early spring for you correct? Do you see leaf buds that are swollen throughout the canopy of your tree? I can only see a few new leaves...check out that trunk/soil line. I can see where someone has put soil around the bottom of that trunk and you most certainly have a short lived tree if you don't pull that back from the trunk. Looks like only a few inches. Plenty enough to compromise the life of your tree. Pull it back and send a picture of that bark. Please. You contacting us might truly have saved your tree, for reasons you were unaware.

  • you are the second person to say this...ive been here 10 years...never placed anything around the tree...its just the lawn...im kinda confused by the assessment...do i have to dig up around the tree...it wouldnt be to undo anything i did May 6, 2018 at 11:05
  • its not early spring...we had a super cold march and mid april (colder than february)...but all the other trees have significantly more leaves though...all these 2 trees have is those spiky ball things that drop on the lawn May 6, 2018 at 11:25

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