I have a lot of black cherry trees (Prunus serotina) on my property and some of the mature ones have bark that is peeling off in large strips about 12 feet up the tree. The peeling off is not near the ground at all. Why could this be happening? Is the tree dying off or diseased? Maybe this is a natural process? I've searched all over the internet about this but can't find any answers. I'm hoping I can get some answers here. Thank you so much for your help!
Cherry trees have a general life-span of 20-25 years. Young black cherry trees have smooth bark. As they mature, the bark starts peeling, although it doesn't peel in strips as you describe. If there is an arborist in your area, you could acquire his/her services.
last summer late I cut back a black cherry tree. I let it grow to almost 12c feet before I knew it was a cherry tree. The Pros told me to cut it 7-8 ft. it had it's first yr. of cherries. This summer there is nothing. Is this normal?
Yes, it could be a normal occurrence. Here is an article explaining why;