Types of Bark and Functions

Most naturalists are aware that the type of bark can be used as a diagnostic feature to identify species. In temperate regions, where trees are winter deciduous, students learn to identify species based on bark (and winter bud) characteristics, and bark types are useful taxonomic characters in other habitats as well.

Often more than one term can be used to describe the bark of a tree or shrub. The young stems often have a different appearance than larger branches, and branches do not resemble the bark found at the base of a trunk. The following are some of the terms used to describe bark.

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