Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bark in the Park

Not much excites the senses in the stark landscape of a northern winter. But tree bark is something to bark about. Winter is the ideal time to appreciate its many forms and textures. While walking Grass Point I decided to take a closer look at the bark in this park.

Eastern Red Cedar
Eastern White Pine
Red Pine
Pin Oak
Four different barks I couldn't positively identify. Maybe you can?

This peeling bark reminds me of a Shagbark Hickory but I don't think that's what this tree is. Some older maples begin to peel. It is very difficult to identify a tree only by its bark!

This bark also appears to be that of a maple judging by the last few clinging leaves. It also appears to be well loved. Aside from these cocoons, it also hosts two bird nests.

I'm not the only one appreciating the bark in this park. This is the work of pileated woodpeckers. They seem to prefer the White Pines.

I don't think the tree directly above will live to see another winter. This is the front and back of the tree. Notice the wood chips below on the snow. (The top photo is a different tree.)

Who is that barking now? Even Mojo is taken with the bark in this park!

Consider bark when designing your garden. It will be the main attraction come winter. In my own garden I appreciate the red bark of dogwoods, especially with a back drop of blue spruce. Who doesn't love paper white or river birch trunks towering over the snow? I don't know about you, but I think the bark of the red pine is spectacular.


  1. When I clicked on the heading, I had thought it was a dog post....and I was right. :) Enjoy your bark photos. Mojo enjoys too.

  2. Dear TVF, I love this post, definitely something to bark about. I have been collecting photos of bark for a while now, older trees have so much character, and another interest is how they feed and shelter wildlife.(lists, bark, dogs, we do seem to be in sync despite our geographical disparity.) Many years ago I stayed in Woodstock with a friend for a few weeks.It was winter and I was in awe of the beauty of the surroundings. cheers, cm

  3. what beautiful bark, so much texture they would make lovely rubbings, I'm amazed by how large the woodpecker holes are I've no experience of the damage they clearly can do, I too have red dogwood and birch (downy birch) in my garden though they are still quite small but I love the coloured bark, I also have coloured willows, mostly gold/orange but 2 black willows which look beautiful with the golden ones, Frances

  4. Love, love, love that Red Pine!! It's beautiful! Your doggy is sweet too :)

  5. What a great post. It's fascinating to look at all the different types of bark, each one so unique and beautiful in it's own way. I agree that winter is a time to notice some of the beauty that gets "lost" in the shuffle and color of the summer. Stay warm!

  6. I'm a bark lover, too -- such variety in the textures and colors. The tangible bark brings me peace -- the very spirit of nature seems directly accessible from even the briefest touch of a tree. The woodpecker holes are fascinating, by the way -- I've never seen so many in a single tree, and so low to the ground. Great post!

  7. I am so glad you enjoyed this post! I just love trees. It is comforting to know that trees age just like us - their bark, our skin. Thank you for taking the time to comment.


Thank you for joining me in my garden in the making!

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