I Have A Mystery

I have spent a LOT of time out in nature for a lot of years,

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and I saw something this afternoon that I’ve never seen before. The strips of bark were on the east side of the tree. Something removed them up 10 feet or so.

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 There was no evidence of birds removing the bark.

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The bark looked like it was recently removed. I found no claw marks.

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I think the tree was an oak. The remaining leaves just looked like a jumbled mess.

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I have limited experience with mammal signs, except for deer. I saw a bobcat track on the road here once, and saw a bobcat here one time too. I was in the dry creek bed, looked up, and there  it stood, looking at me. It walk off.

My youngest son and a friend were squirrel hunting here with .22’s. Davis had a pistol and his friend with  rifle. Davis was at the edge of the road, and his friend was in the woods. A mountain lion walked in their direction, before it turned and meandered off up the hill. It never saw them. Southern Illinois didn’t have mountain lions until the last several years. I’ve never seen one and hope I never do.

Anyway, I would appreciate any suggestions that would explain this “bark removal.”

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Wish I could help, I’ll be interested to hear i anyone has an idea.

    Reply

  2. It might be natural shedding from high winds, were there any scratch/claw marks? To quote Artie Johnson….Veddy Interesting… 🙂

    Reply

  3. I looked this up and found that it could be one of three things. One is, if trees have 2 or 3 good, drought free years they can grow fast enough to literally outgrow their bark and it will fall off to make room for new.
    Second is a disease called smooth patch disease. This is a fungus that decomposes the outer bark of trees, particularly white oak, and causes it to slough off. It doesn’t really hurt the tree.
    Third is, squirrels have been seen peeling the bark off oak trees but nobody seems to know why. If it was squirrels you’d see several trees losing bark.
    I wouldn’t want to meet a mountain lion either. I think I’d rather run into a bear than a mountain lion!

    Reply

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