Experts and BHG readers answer.
Red Maple losing Bark
It's hard to tell exactly what's going on, but red maples can often get hit by sun scald on the south side of the tree. Sun scald is caused by cold, then warm, then sudden cold temperatures during the winter. When the sun warms the bark on the south side of the tree, then at night the temps plummet, the cells on the south side of the tree freeze and die, causing the bark to slough off. The best way to prevent this is to wrap all fairly young red maples during the winter. Depending on how bad the tree was damaged it may repair itself over time or it could die back. I just don't know without seeing the tree.