What does a bark do for a tree?« Back to Questions List

The bark of the tree acts a thick insulation from many kinds of injuries. Ice, windstorms, fires and axes are injuries a tree gets from many sources. Apart from protection, the bark of many conifers exudes resin when it is injured, sealing out fungi and other organisms of disease. Tough, hard bark may help to bar parasitic plants from gaining a hold. It also protects the tender living layer from sun and wind.


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One of the most remarkable barks of all belongs to the eucalyptus family of trees and shrubs. Eucalyptus bark oozes a protective gum when wounded, and is highly fire-resistant. If fire destroys the leaves, the tree can often produce new set of leaves from dormant buds hidden beneath the bark.



bark 2                                                                                                    bark 3


How a tree heals itself from injuries is something noteworthy. The wound at first bleeds, leaking a fluid called sap from the opening. In most cases, a thick tough area of skin called callus begins to form at the edges of the wound, stopping the fluids from oozing. Cells from the growth tissue called cambium around the edges begin to multiply, growing inward. If a break is small, this inward growth may continue till the cells meet in the center.



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