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Tree with bark that is not only twisted but appears to be peeling?

last month
last modified: last month

My brother recently saw this tree somewhere in Massachusetts. (Photo is below, under Comments. For some reason I can never include a photo as part of an original Gardenweb post, if I am doing so from my phone...)
I have to wonder if the tree is diseased...or might this be a unique growth pattern of bark that is typical for a type of tree we are not familiar with?
Anyone know? Thanks!

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