En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 11, 2011

From: Elida, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: Tulip trees losing bark in OH
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

We have two tulip trees in our yard that are losing their bark at the base of the trunk. I am careful with the mower keeping away from the tree when I mow. What could the problem be and what can I do to preserve the tree?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, we cannot accurately diagnose a problem like this without actually seeing the plant and recommend you contact your local agricultural extension service.  They will either be able to help you or recommend a reputable arborist.

Generally, when trees lose their bark it is due to physical damage either by humans (mowers or string trimmers) or gnawing rodents (usually mice during the winter).

Although it doesn't sound like you have mulch around the base of the tree (to keep the grass and the grass mowers at a safe distance), that can be a problem if it is piled too deep around the tree.  It can make the rodent problem worse by creating a great winter nesting spot or can actually cause the tree bark to rot and effectively girdle the tree and ultimately kill it.

We hope you are able to figure out what the cause of the damage is before your trees' health is compromised and you lose them.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Plants for shelter for butterflies
July 04, 2010 - I understand that butterflies need certain plants for food, but are there specific plants that butterflies prefer to use as shelter in central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Mimosa shape
November 27, 2007 - I planted a summer chocolate mimosa, and although it has bloomed lovely foliage, it has two main branches growing in a vee shape. Is this normal? Do I need to do anything to spur the growth in a more ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with red feathery leaves
March 08, 2012 - What is the name of a tree with dark red leaves, feathery, slim trunk; maybe in the pepper family? Jedi?
view the full question and answer

Location of Alamo fungicide kit from Georgetown TX
July 03, 2012 - Where can I buy the Alamo fungicide injection kit shown in the oak wilt video?
view the full question and answer

Small trees for NJ shore
April 22, 2011 - Hello! What's a good native shrub or small tree to feature in my front yard in Brigantine, NJ, on the Jersey shore. Sunny site, dry, sandy soil. The yard is very small. I'm trying to design a l...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center