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The Home Depot

Why is My Oak Tree Losing Bark?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > Why is My Oak Tree Losing Bark?
Why is My Oak Tree Losing Bark?

If you are a homeowner with an oak tree on your property, you are lucky indeed. Oak trees are beautiful and majestic. They provide shade for your home and give your home tons of character. However, like any living thing, they can fall ill.


When your oak begins to show signs that something is wrong – for example, if it begins losing bark – you may begin to panic. You certainly don’t want to lose your beloved old oak. Well, relax. You may not have to lose it. Read this guide for a few reasons why your oak tree may be losing bark – and steps you can take to care for it.

  1. 1. Rot

    Just like a cut in your skin can let infection in, fungus can get inside your oak tree. That rot can cause the bark to fall off. Too much exposure to water can also cause this problem. Sometimes, the most damaged portion of the bark can be removed and the tree can heal and continue to flourish. However, other times, the damage is too extensive.

  2. 2. Disease

    Just like you are susceptible to disease, so is your tree. A lot of oak diseases stem from fungus. Damage from fungus can go deep, so it’s important to bring in an expert to take a closer look right away if you suspect this is the problem.

  3. 3. Lightning strike

    It’s possible that your tree was struck by lightning and you never even realized it. Not all lightning strikes result in big, scary fires (thank goodness). Some can cause damage that is inside the tree, away from the naked eye. Trees that have been struck by lightning lose a lot of their bark. They might also have a burning smell or scorch marks. A lightning strike doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your tree. It’s true that it does kill some trees, but others can be saved with proper care and things like fertilizer, mulch and water.

  4. 4. Animals

    Squirrels, birds and insects can all be possible causes for your oak tree’s missing bark. Some animals like to eat the bark, others use it to burrow inside to create a home.

  5. Just like you wouldn’t treat your own broken arm, or give yourself surgery, you shouldn’t try to tackle problems with your oak yourself. Find a trained tree arborist to help you get your oak on the path to health. Don’t worry if you don’t know any tree experts. You can use to find a reliable, trustworthy company right near you! Simply go to the site and tell them what you are looking for. Redbeacon can put you in touch with specially screened pros in your area. Do it today – your tree needs you!

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