No one is entirely sure why sycamores do this, but there are a few theories. One of the main ideas is that thick bark helps to hold in moisture, but with the sycamore’s naturally humid habitat, it’s not necessary to hold in as much water. Others say that it’s a way to transpire more when in anaerobic soil. However, that’s inconsistent with other trees that live in oxygen rich soil. The most highly regarded hypothesis is that it’s to ensure that parasites and lichens which would normally stick to bark are shed frequently. But, no matter why it does it, it’s not harmful to the tree, and it’s totally natural.
No worries! It is normal for your sycamore tree to do this in the summer. The falling bark any be a hassle, but it is one of a few species of trees in the United States that will shed their bark.
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