Poplar trunk view

Do you know what are the characteristics of the bark of the tree? That is probably the first thing you notice when you see a plant of that type; not in vain, it is something that stands out a lot. But it is that, in addition, the interesting thing is no longer the cortex itself, but the function it fulfills.

There are many types of plant beings, but there is only one that has managed to rise above the others by protecting its internal structure in such a simple and complex way at the same time. And that’s the tree.

What is the bark of a tree?

Parts of the trunkparts of the trunk

Image – clubaventureros.org

When we talk about the bark of a tree, it is not difficult for us to imagine it. Thicker or finer, cracked or smooth, in a color ranging from brown to gray-whitish. But we rarely think about its composition, which is the following:

  • Cork: it is the external tissue, composed of one or two layers of cells that form the meristem that is responsible for growth.
  • Feloderm: is a layer of inner cells that some trees have. If they do, it’s just behind the cork.
  • Cortex: it is the primary tissue of stems and roots. In the first case, the cortex is located between the epidermal layer and the phloem; and the second case, the inner layer is the pericycle.
  • Phloem: it is the tissue through which the nutrients are transported to the parts of the tree.

What uses does the bark of the tree have?



It has all of these:

  • Cork: it is extracted from some trees, such as Quercus suber. It is taken out when it is 20 years old and has a trunk of about 40cm in diameter.
  • Latex: It is extracted from some trees, such as those of the Euphorbiaceae family, which produce it to protect themselves from insects. It is used to make synthetic or natural rubber.
  • ResinsThey are also substances that some plants, such as conifers, produce to defend themselves, and they also use them to close wounds. They are used for varnishes and lacquers.
  • Medicines: From the bark of some trees, such as the genus Cinchona, the indigenous tribes obtain quinine, which for a long time was used as a cure for malaria.
  • Poisons: mixing different bark of trees, again the indigenous tribes make a poison that they use to hunt.
  • seasoning: as the cinnamon or camphor, which is extracted from the crusts of the Seylan cinnamon y Cinnamom camphora respectively.
  • Tannins: it is a compound that is used in natural medicine, and in the manufacture of drinks such as wine.
  • Fabrics and paper: There are many species whose bark is used as cloth or paper, such as Ficus.

I hope you found this topic interesting .