En Español

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

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Transplant rootbound tree now from Kerrville TX
June 10, 2012 - I purchased a Blanco Crabapple tree. Should I plant it now or wait until Fall? (It is currently rootbound.) Second question: Our Mountain Laurel has a dead trunk and one trunk has already died. I c...
view the full question and answer

Why are our Euphorbia myrsinites plants dying in Soquel, CA?
August 02, 2010 - Some of our Euphorbia myrsinites die in our garden for reasons we cannot understand. Do you have any explanation or suggest area we should be looking for?
view the full question and answer

Oak tree with browning leaves in Brenham TX
August 16, 2011 - I have a large oak tree in my small back yard. I also have a sprinkler so the tree has been receiving some water. Nevertheless, some of the leaves are turning brown in patches. Would drip watering ...
view the full question and answer

Brown dead spots on arborvitae in Hillsboro OR
October 12, 2009 - Hello. I live in Hillsboro, OR and have several mature arborvitae as a privacy screen in my backyard. They are on our side of a black chainlink fence separating our yard from a drainage area maintaine...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center