27 March 2013

Types of tree bark

It interests me that tree bark not only serves a function to protect the tree but it is also a beautiful often neglected part of a tree.  When we look at trees, we often talk about the size of the tree, the species, the shape of the leaves and the flowers but how often do we pay attention to the bark of a tree?  Below I have included some photographs of tree bark which I took during a leisurely walk around a Botanic garden.  Where available I have included the name of the tree which identifies the bark.  I am also including a link to an informative article entitled, "Types of Bark and Functions" by UCLA.  The article includes the terminology we use to describe different types of bark. 
Bark is the outermost layers of stems and roots of woody plants. Plants with bark include trees, woody vines, and shrubs. Bark refers to all the tissues outside of the vascular cambium and is a nontechnical term. It overlays the wood and consists of the inner bark and the outer bark. The inner bark, which in older stems is living tissue, includes the innermost area of the periderm. The outer bark in older stems includes the dead tissue on the surface of the stems, along with parts of the innermost periderm and all the tissues on the outer side of the periderm. The outer bark on trees is also called the rhytidome.
Products used by people that are derived from bark include: bark shingle siding and wall coverings,  spices and other flavorings, tanbark for tannin, resin, latex, medicines, poisons, various hallucinatory chemicals and cork. Bark has been used to make cloth, canoes, ropes and used as a surface for paintings and map making.   A number of plants are also grown for their attractive or interesting bark colorations and surface textures or their bark is used as landscape mulch.
Lepidozamia peroffskyana ~ Zamiaceae

Livistona australis ~ Arecaceae

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