This tree – I think it may be a yellow birch – knows what it’s doing.
A bit of reading (here, here and here) suggests that it’s not completely certain why the bark naturally peels from some trees. It may be a mechanism to protect from a build-up of parasites and other pests, or it may be that the dead outer bark must split and peel away to allow the tree to grow. Maybe both, or neither, depending on the species.
In all likelihood, it sheds for a practical reason, whether or not that reason is clear to us. This casting-off and renewal is necessary, ongoing, and messy, and is just as much a part of the tree’s being as is the shape of its leaves or the taste of its sap.
And the tree is beautiful, not despite this unkempt-looking evidence of its existence, but because of it.
Maybe it could teach us a thing or two.
Close-ups of bark are naturals for Narami’s Tuesdays of Texture.