Bay Tree Has Strange Bark
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Sue Harkin
Posted on: June 18, 2007

My culinary bay has been growing well for some years, but I noticed that the main stem looks very thick and flaky. Is this a problem?

No. The bark of all trees eventually starts to shed in a way that is characteristic for the particular species. As the stem thickens with the years, this causes the bark to become too tight and break at the surface. If a tree has a lot of epiphytes growing on it in its natural habitat, it will have developed a rapidly shedding type of bark, since only the trees with this type of bark could survive by thus reducing the load of freeloaders on its surface.

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