Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Damage to Pine Tree on Cape Cod, MA
June 11, 2013 - My pine tree on Cape Cod has bark that is perforated with holes covering the entire tree. Bark can be removed by hand. Looks dead. What did this?
view the full question and answer

Juniper as host of cedar-apple rust
July 17, 2007 - Thanks for the helpful advice on the Eastern Red Cedar. I was wondering if you could ease my mind about a potential problem. I have read up on some of the native plants in my area in a very good book ...
view the full question and answer

Why are the eastern red cedars in Bastrop/Travis County turning brown?
May 11, 2009 - I live on the Bastrop/Travis county, TX line and have many eastern red cedars on my property. About 10 of them are dying and it has happened quickly with the onset of the warmer weather. I noticed d...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red oak trees in North Central Texas
July 13, 2013 - What is the disease effecting Red Oak trees in North Central Texas; causing them to lose leafs in Spring/Summer and turning the remaining leaves light yellow/lime green in color. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Young Bur Oak not Flourishing in Texas
November 06, 2014 - We have a bur oak in our SW Travis County lawn in Texas, planted about 3 years ago as a 6-7' tree. It is now about 12' but has not "flourished". It has put out virtually no horizontal branches, an...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.