Q. My enkianthus shrub is shedding bark. Is this a problem and what can I do about it?
Enkianthus is a genus of at least 20 species with defining similar characteristics. Shredding bark is not considered a normal phenomenon of this genus. Enkianthus is essentially disease resistant, except for occasional mites, which would not cause shredding bark.
While it is not a common occurrence, some shrubs do develop areas of loose or shedding bark due to rapid changes in temperature. The inner, wetter layers of bark heat and cool at a different rate than the outer and this can cause a disruption to the bark surface. Shrubs are more susceptible to cold weather injury if an animal or machine has damaged the bark earlier. Winter bark damage is most frequently observed on a southwest facing area of bark after a period of snow.
A second possible explanation may be that the shrub was incorrectly labeled at the nursery and this may not be Enkianthus. A most interesting enigma.
I you would like to send a few pictures to us at email@example.com, we would be happy to take a look and confirm that it is an Enkianthus and offer more informed information on the bark issue you are observing.
You also may want to consult an arborist. An arborist in your area can be located through the International Society of Arboriculture. You also have an option to send plant material to your local Cornell Cooperative extension, ; scroll to bottom of their website for Horticultural Diagnostic Laboratory.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information