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I have a large, old walnut tree in my front yard. The bark on the east/northeast side of the tree is separating from the trunk. Is this a sign of disease or other problems? And can I peel the bark off the tree or will that hurt the tree?
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There has been some reports of Walnut Twig Beetle and canker diseases on walnut, however the bark peeling usually is on the south west side of the tree. Don't know without photos or other information what the cause of the peeling bark. Do not peel off the tree, more injury may occur and generally not recommended.
Here is a link to Utah Pest Newsletter on Walnut diseases. See the feature article and see if it matches the problems you are having with your walnut tree. Go to http://utahpests.usu.edu/files/uploads/UtahPests-Newsletter-Fall08.pdf
We also have Plant Pest Diagnostic Ask a Master Gardener clinics in Salt Lake County every Monday from 1 to 4pm for the months of June, July and August in our USU Training Room, 2001 South State RM S1008. You can bring in photos or samples of your plants and have volunteer Master Gardeners help advise you.
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