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

Saturday - May 18, 2013

From: Red Creek, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Bark splitting in old tulip tree in Red Creek, NY.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello, We have a tulip tree that has some bark splitting I guess I would call it. The tree is older and very tall. On the north side of it starting at the bottom of the trunk to about 8-9 feet up it, a strip of the bark only about a half inch wide has peeled away, it goes straight up the tree trunk. Have you any idea what would cause this. This tree is near the Lake Ontario shoreline and is subject to a lot of wind.

ANSWER:

The Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip tree) is a very desirable shade or ornamental tree. Even though it is sometimes called Tulip Poplar it is not in the genus or family of the  other poplars (Genus Populus in the family Salicaceae). it is in the family Magnoliaceae. This link to the Forest Service has general information about the Tulip Tree.

 Having bark peel off a tree is of some concern. The Tulip Tree is relatively free of pest problems, but is susceptible to canker diseases that are described in this link to USDA.

My suggestion is to have a knowledgeable person examine your tree to determine what the problem is . This person could be someone from the Wayne County office of Cornell University Cooperative Extension,  or a certified arborist.

 

From the Image Gallery


Tulip tree
Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip tree
Liriodendron tulipifera

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with Eastern hemlock in Greenville SC
July 02, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a beautiful, young, 5 and a half foot tall Eastern Hemlock. I purchased and planted it two years ago in the fall. It has been doing very well all this spring. And ne...
view the full question and answer

Why isn't my recently planted Mexican Redbud growing in Georgetown, TX?
April 11, 2010 - I planted a container-grown Mexican Redbud in early March. As of April 5th, it is showing no signs of buds or leaves. Other redbuds in the area (possibly Texas redbuds) have been blooming for severa...
view the full question and answer

Problems with lantanas in Austin
September 02, 2008 - Lantanas redux! I'm having similar problems with my Lantana here in Austin, Texas, as the person in Bandera. My husband has cut it back to the ground twice this summer. It returns, beautiful vibra...
view the full question and answer

Watering oaks in Houston, TX.
June 07, 2011 - Our yard (Real County, TX.) has many oak trees. We never water these trees, but I wonder if you recommend watering during this extreme drought. The trees look very stressed and are covered in ball m...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify leaf extensions on the leaves of an elm sapling in Houston, Tx.
May 22, 2013 - I have an elm sapling which grows strange leave extensions on its leaves. Can I send you a picture? Tree looks healthy
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