Tree Identification By Bark

Tree Identification By Bark

Many people have similar questions regarding tree identification by their barks. There are thousands of trees in the world, and some of them have nearly identical foliages and shape. Barks can be a good method to identify different trees. The most common features of the tree bark are colors and textures and they are normally different from one species to another. As the external layer of protection of a tree, tree barks are actually the accumulation of the dead cells and resins which are firmly absorbed by the tree trunk. Also, the tree bark can be used as a way to transport water and nutrients into the top of the tree.

Let’s take the oak trees as an example. There are nearly five hundreds species of oak tree growing in earth, and some of them are growing in wild forests. The fundamental method for the identification will be the leaves and acorns. As for the foliage, most oak trees have similar shapes of leaves which have saw-like edges. When you take a look at the texture of their barks, you can observe a distinct one which will be different from other tree species. The ridges of a mature oak tree are very deep and in dark black color. However, a young oak tree’s ridges will be red.

You can go to the library or search on the internet for some bark pictures of trees. For those popular trees, memorize them and it will be helpful. If you encounter an unknown tree bark, take some pictures and compare them with some existing bark images in the library. In different climates, same trees may have different bark appearance.

Image Provided By Uwe Hermann (Photo taken by Uwe Hermann) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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