Why Is My Redbud Tree Losing Its Bark?


The eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) is a member of the Fabaceae family. Redbud trees typically lose or shed their bark, which is normal and does not indicate disease or reduced vigor.


  • Shedding or peeling bark is a characteristic of the redbud tree, as well as the silver maple, sycamore, shagbark, birch, hickory and Scotch pine, according to Iowa State University Extension. As the redbud tree matures, the inner bark layer thickens, which results in the bark being pushed outward as the tree grows. Eventually, the outer layer of bark dies and cracks and peels, exposing the inner bark.


  • Redbud trees often lose their outer layer of bark as they get older and more mature. Once the outer layer falls off, inner layers of orange bark are revealed. Cold, dry weather often loosens bark and results in large amounts of bark being shed the following summer.


  • No control method is recommended for redbud trees that shed their bark. If the tree is healthy, losing bark causes no damage. Redbud trees that suffer an injury to their bark may suffer from reduced health and vigor.


  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
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