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K-State Turfgrass

The case of the exploding bark

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

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This post’s info and photos are by Beth McKinzie, our diagnostic lab intern for the summer. Judy O’Mara, our lab director, is mentoring Beth.

The London planetree, Platanus x acrerifolia sheds its bark mid-summer in Kansas. This is a normal phase for the London planetree. A similar pattern can be observed with Sycamore trees, Platanus occidentalis which shed their bark, but not as extensively as seen on the London planetree. Both are in the same family, Platanus. There are many theories to why these trees shed there bark, which you can read about here (https://www.nycgovparks.org/news/daily-plant?id=19242). As this is a normal for these trees no management would be recommended.

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