Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tree Bark

Tree Bark

I have wanted to do a post on the various nice tree barks I have been seeing. Often times that is all we northern gardeners have to look at this time of year. It can also be very useful in identifying tree species this time of year. I like that there are so many variations of bark and a lot of times there are variations throughout the life of the tree.

This picture and top photo: Stewartia pseudocamellia bark

The functions of tree bark are quite complex here is a link to a UCLA site that deals with some of the scientific aspects of it:
ucla.edu

There are a multitude of reason bark is important to trees. One of the biggest is protection against the elements. It protects against both hot and cold temperature extremes. It also can block insects and diseases from entering the cambium layer of the tree. Since it is sometimes porous it helps the tree breathe while still protecting against water loss.

Bark can be an excellent way to enhance the winter garden. The different colors and textures can also have a nice effect on plants in front or behind the trees. There also medicinal uses from certain tree barks and some hold hope in various cancer treatments. Who can forget all the help bark lends to the garden during the year in the form of mulch?


Not sure which species of Platanus (PLAT-an-us) or Sycamore tree this is but the bark was a wonderful mosaic of colors. I usually tell the American and London Planetrees apart by the number of seedpods. The American species has single seedpods and the London Planetree has two together. I’ll probably feature a couple of more barks tomorrow.

5 comments:

i beati said...

this photography is superb- i can feel the bark what is the camera?

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Hi there, I used the Nikon D70s with the 60mm Nikkor-Micro lens. The light was working with me.

Rhonda said...

Exquisite - I feel warmth. I miss real trees...

david mcmahon said...

That second bark shot is sheer genius

Vanillalotus said...

I love tree bark. These are very interesting. I have never seen ones like these. Maybe I just need to look harder.