Was out walking in the park today, came across a tree, and me being me I thought "Hey lets try climbing this thing for fun." But something strange struck me, the tree was completely devoid, as in COMPLETELY, of any bark. On the trunk, on the branch, no bark anywhere, pure albino. Well, I reasoned, maybe it's just born that way. But then I look down, and I see the remnants of some bark wrapping around the tree's base. (Greyish colour). Huh. And I also saw approximately 7 massive slightly orange ants tumbling through an ant hole. I'm not a large fan of ants, especially since I had pretty much been standing on their nest for a couple of minutes, so I hastily backed off.

Here's where my mind kicked in though, how did the tree become barkless? For some background, I live in Sydney, NSW, Australia, and it's pretty darn hot here, nearly Summer. MAYBE the wind blew it off? (but there hasn't been any wind lately) Only logical explanation was THE ANTS DID IT. Do ants really eat the bark off trees like this?

barkless tree Dang that's a big picture. You can sort of see if you look closely the remains of the bark at the bottom. Been to this park before, and I'm 75% sure the tree was not albino back then.

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    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about diagnostic tree care, not biology as defined in the Help Center. It should be on Gardening & Landscaping beta. $\endgroup$ – J. Musser Dec 5 '14 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ Is there like a general stack exchange where I can ask questions like these because I didn't know where to put it? I knew it was slightly different to biology, but I had 0 clue there was a gardening and landscaping site $\endgroup$ – Joshua Lin Dec 6 '14 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ There isn't a general site like that. This can be moved to gardening.se, but generally it's good to look around here, and try to find the closest fit. $\endgroup$ – J. Musser Dec 6 '14 at 1:14

Trees have different kinds of bark. If your tree was not moist and seeping, it had bark. Since that tree is clearly alive, it's likely that it has a smooth, light-colored naturally peeling bark.

stewartia pseudocamillia bark close-up

Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamillia) has a beautiful bark that is constantly shedding in patches of tan, green, orange and brown. It always has bark, however.

Crepe Myrtle is also used in landscaping for it's beautiful, peeling bark.

To know if this condition is normal for that tree, identification (using range, habitat, bark, leaves, twigs, and sometimes flowers, fruits and seeds) is needed.

Eucalyptus grandis is native to your area. Eucalyptus species also shed bark and the picture in your question definitely looks like eucalyptus.

eucalyptis grandis

When it is finished peeling, it's very light. This might be your tree.

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you can put up a pic of eucalyptus which also sheds bark. It is eucalyptus in the OP's picture $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Nov 22 '14 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG - thanks! I had just done a search when your coment popped up and confirmed it. :) If you know how to reduce a picture's size, please feel free. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Nov 22 '14 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ Size is fine. I just think it should generally not exceed 500px $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Nov 22 '14 at 7:45

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