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My Blog

Barking up the Wrong Tree?

Good morning to everyone.  Well, another gorgeous day outside...although rain and storms are predicted for later in the day.  Lately, I am realizing that we are coming close to winter once again and I am taking advantage of all that this season has to offer.  If you are following this blog...one of the sides that I have chosen is a picture a day.  Here is today's picture. 
Yes, it is a stump.  My reason for this was to study the many textures and colors that are there.  It is funny how most might just say that it is a brown stump...and yet when upon closer inspection, there are so many layers of colors.  When I enlarged it I found shades of grays, umbers, whites and even blues.  It is interesting to me that the bark of a tree can tell us so much. Plus, each tree has its individual bark patterns.  All trees are not created equal.  When we look at a tree's bark we see it as one layer when in fact it has multiple layers...with each layer having a purpose.   Beginning with the center of the tree...first we have Heartwood, next is Sapwood, then Vascular Samblum...then we reach the outer bark...that is comprised of layers called Living Phloem and then the Periderm which sub contains Cork and Cork Camblum. 

When I think about bark...I also think of it's medicinal values.  There are many barks that are used in herbal remedies...suck as Slippery elm bark  used as a mucilaginous herb internally to coat and soothe mucous membranes while also absorbing toxins which can cause intestinal imbalances_  It comes with a multitude of benefits. Just search for its plethora of benefits.

There is Witch Hazel Bark which is an astringent bark is most often used topically to tighten and tone tissue, fight infection, and soothe irritation. Common uses include bug bites, acne, cellulite, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and cuts and scrapes.  We have  White Willow Bark which is technically a pain reliever.  There is also  Alder Bark which increases circulation and blood flow while tightening, toning, and healing tissues. It has application with gut damage, immune infections, toothache, and more...and the list goes on.  It is funny how we don't see the bark of the tree as a valuable commodity. 

Every time we uncork a bottle of wine we are in contact with the bark of a tree...although we never stop to think about cork coming from the tree bark.  Many of us even us bark chips for mulching around our plant beds without connecting the dots. 

So I guess my point here is that there are so many things that we take for granted.  There are many layers to the bark of a tree.  Many markers that make them different.  The next time you admire a tree...stop and really look at all that it has to offer...You may be pleasantly surprised.

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