Recently in bark Category

skin peel

| No Comments
The sycamore trees in my neighborhood seem to be beating the summer heat by peeling off their bark!


Isn't that awesome looking? Check out a close-up.


That is just wacky. I swear they weren't peeling like this before we left for vacation in June. I knew that they did this - how else would they get that cool camouflage patterned bark?


That was a sycamore trunk that I spotted back in February. In March, I identified a baby sycamore down the street with beautiful silver gray bark with subtle variations in color. (It also had a town id tag around one of its branches.)


Now the baby sycamore looks like this.


There's really a contrast between the two colors of bark now. And lookie, it busted its tag! Did the peeling bark do that!? When I look up, I can actually see small patches of bark that have fallen off and were caught in the branches.


Why do these trees do this??? Is that how they grow? Like molting? Does it keep the bark and tree healthier? Is that "new" bark underneath? I don't get it.

So I looked it up! Turns out the sycamore's bark is too rigid to allow for the regular growth of the trunk, so as the trunk grows, the outer bark cracks and then falls off. So it is like molting. In little patches. Eew.

long time, no see, tree

| No Comments
Alright, it's been over a month since we've taken a look at the tree. Has anything changed?

Well, the leaves have continued to darken and wither. They were already starting to look older and a bit wrinkly in June. At the end of July, when we returned home from our vacation, they looked like this.


You can see the toothed edges so clearly now! I remember having difficulty noticing that when I was first trying to identify the characteristics of the ash tree leaves in May. And the green is so dark now too. You can really see the structure of the veins: almost perfect opposite branching off of a central vein. Typical for my tree.

Looking below the leaves reveals the real dramatic change of the last month.


The new growth from the spring has changed color! The new section of the twig, where the leaves have grown, has changed from green to a light brownish/gray. What a surprise! I was not expecting that!


Here's the scar where the new growth for this year began, growing out of the terminal bud at the tip of last year's growth. You can see how the color of the new section is changing and will eventually look like that from last year.


And the buds at the tips of this year's growth look much more fully formed than they did a month ago. You take those green stems away, and it could totally be my twig back in February! In fact, this twig seems to have a strange nail-looking ridge beneath the terminal bud just like I saw on one of the twigs I was watching in March. Now that I see it here, green, next to stems holding leaves, I think I know what it is! It looks just like the base of a new stem for a new leaf, doesn't it? That would be exactly the spot for a new pair of leaves too: off-set 90 degrees from the previous set of leaves, right? So I guess this last set just didn't develop. Maybe it kind of started and then stopped. Or maybe that's something that the twig does to sort of seal up the terminal bud.

Okay, I feel like this tree has done all the growing it's going to do. I mean, those buds will probably grow some more and the new growth will probably darken, but there's not going to be more growth or more leaves. So what is the tree doing now? Is it making food for winter? Does it even need to do that? Is it just being a tree: providing food, shelter, shade and oxygen for animals? I wonder when the leaves will start changing colors? Will the ash be an early color-changer or late? What will the scar look like when the leaves do fall off? I feel a little like I did in February, like things are sort of stable now and I'm just waiting, waiting for any signs of the big change to come. Fall is going to be exciting!

ruff ruff bark bark

| No Comments
How often do you really look at the bark on a tree? I mean, it's the part of a tree that's right down by us, but  we don't really ever look at it. For example, I'm sure that that horrible decaying scar has been on Bud for a while, but I just noticed it the other day when I was searching for sprouts in the soil. So let's take a closer look at the bark on my tree.


It's kinda grayish brown and is really cracked looking, with deep ridges and furrows. It looks like it's shedding or molting or something. It looks like all that is just going to fall off any minute, but it doesn't. Why is some bark all scaly and flaky and cracky? And check this out: the other side is green!


Wow. Why is all this mossy green growth only on this side? And, um, why is this stuff here in the first place? It's on the limbs too.

And here's the driveway tree that has the amazingly long above-ground roots.


Look at how the fence is bent and broken there. Either the fence had to be built in parts like that to get around that tree or it was built next to the tree and then, as the tree expanded, it bent the fence. The tree next to it has clearly grown into the fence. It even has the crisscross marks from the fence in its bark.


How can this tree be on both sides of the fence? What came first: the tree or the fence? I can't see any remnants of fence in the ridges of the bottom marks, but the top markings definitely have fence wire in them. Is it seriously growing bark around those wires?! 

Hey, how does bark grow anyway? I mean, the trunk adds a ring every year right? And the newer ones are on the outside? So it's not just growing more on the inside and pushing the old bark farther out. Well, maybe it adds the new ring just under the bark. So does that mean that the bark on the outside is the same bark just aging and cracking more and more? Or do trees really shed some of their bark and grow new bark?

is there a tree doctor in the house?

| No Comments
After reading Someday a Tree yesterday, I started thinking about poor little Bud, the tree in front of our house with the horrible scar from an old dead branch that broke off. Looking at this picture again, it looks like that dead branch was causing some sort of decay in the main trunk.


And just this week, I noticed that there is a similarly nasty wound near the bottom of the trunk.


Blag. (That's what my kids say when something is disgusting. Like vegetables.) I wonder if these two are related? What could have happened here?

The next tree down the street has a small hole in it at about the same height, but you can see that there's none of this decay there. It looks to have grown more bark around the hole and healed.


Or maybe this one is starting to have the same problem that Bud has or had. I hope not, because I'm worried about Bud.

October 2011

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the bark category.

assessment is the previous category.

buds is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.12