adapted from Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge by Ron Lance. Used by permission.
To see photographic examples of a term, click the camera next to it in the list of botanical terms.
The texture and appearance of bark is characteristic for many species, but the essence of its recognition is best acquired by visual experience and not by written description.
Three general types of bark texture can be summarized for most of our woody plants:
smooth, papery, and rough.
- Fluted sinewy or wavy profile (as in hornbeam).
- Striated striped or lined (as in striped maple).
- Mottled particolored. Can be slightly scaly with thin, close scales (as in sycamore).
- Lenticellate marked by numerous raised lenticels (as in spicebush). Lenticels may be horizontally elongated (as in cherry).
- Exfoliating bark Shedding in thin layers; usually applied to small-diameter stems (as in honeysuckle).
Thick or hardened, roughened surface.
- Warty raised excrescences, with intermediate areas smooth (as in hackberry).
- Scaly flat-topped, brittle plates which are free or curling on edges. Of three general patterns:
- Furrowed surface wrinkled or broken by furrows and thickened ridges or plates.
- Plates flat-topped ridges, shortened or broken horizontally, as in shortleaf pine.
- Blocky thick, squarish plates as in persimmon.
- Ridged elongated ridges and furrows: