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young maples pealing lengthwise up trunk

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From: Ellen Popenhagen
Atkins, IA
I have several maples in my yard that have recently begun peeling lengthwise up the trunk from the base of the tree. There are a lot of earwigs under the bark and appear to be eating away at the dead bark as it continues to peel from the west side of the tree around to the south. I have read that earwigs are not harmful to the bark, but I don't know what is causing the damage to the bark. I had solid plastic tubes around the trunks to protect from deer, but I switched to an open air plastic chicken wire when I saw the peeling. Unfortunately, the peeling is getting worse and more trees are showing the same symptoms.

Will wrapping the trees allow for healing and stop the bark from peeling? or is my problem not above ground?

Thanks for your help.

Extension Message
From: Brenda Dahlfors
Program Coordinator, Horticulture
Lake/McHenry Unit
Ellen - You don't say how old your trees are, but it sounds like they are fairly young. Some possibilities are frost cracks, mechanical damage (weed wacker, mower, or planting problem), and deer damage. You might be on the right track thinking it could be coming from the root, also. Wrapping does NOT promote healing. Take some photos, and email them, or call and bring to your local Extension, which you can find here: Good luck! Brenda

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