Silver Maple - bark detaching from trunk / peeling off



ArboristSite Lurker
Jul 9, 2021
See images. Tree is probably 20+ years old?, bark peeling is normal on a silver maple (messy trees) but this is huge chunks all the way down to the bare tree which has me concerned. Its happening in a few areas on each side of tree (East and West) - at the base and 8 feet above the ground. Some areas the bark has detached from the trunk and could be pulled off the tree.

Any idea what the issue is? is this normal?

Tree is in Wisconsin (4 seasons), its been hot/draught here this summer. There are 2 other silver maples by it, one is similar age and size, the other is older and larger, neither has this issue (though the one of similar age had a thin crown in spring too)

Crown was thin in spring some small branches no leaves (tons of rain then and cold in May). Had an arborist by (BEFORE the bark peeling issue) he said there was no issue w/ thin crown as the tree was dropping a lot of helicopters (samaras) and in heavy years the crown will thin as this takes a lot of energy from the tree (?). Tree had anthracnose (as did the 2 other silver maples by it) but this was not a concern to him (or to me once I learned more about it). Again, when he was here neither he nor I saw the bark peeling issue, I just noticed it today when inspecting tree.

The bark totally removing from the tree has me concerned as underneath the tree is totally exposed and 'bare'? Fewer leaves this year on all my silver maples.

I have given it good shots of water a few times (let hose run for an hour or two at the base). No other treatment has been performed. Light browsing by deer on lower branches which hasn't been an issue on this tree since I bought this home.

Any advice or direction would be helpful. There are no holes/borers on the bare tree portion. The black speckles is from underlying bark (dirt-ish), looks like it weathered off.