• Got bark?

    Posted on February 7, 2012 by Kelly Norris in Dig This, practical artistry.

    Recently, I took an afternoon stroll around the Iowa State University campus with camera in hand in search of the beauty of bark.  As I see it, bark is like the wallpaper of the landscape, always there even when the room is bare.  A well-known contemporary horticulturist once remarked in a press release that the beauty of bark was lost on the general public.  On the contrary, I think horticulture’s ability to convey the beauty of bark is lost on the general public, because we presently don’t convey much of anything about it!  We otherwise malign and ignore bark.  Boo!

    Throughout the next 10 months while I work on my next book for Timber Press, I’m planning to leak some of the ideas I espouse in the manuscript–the essence of a kickass pursuit of plants.  Today, it’s all about bark and summed up easily enough in the swatch I made below.  Can you name all eight of these woody plants?  How many do you grow?

7 Responsesso far.

  1. Jonathan Knisely says:

    From left to right:
    Pinus bungeana
    Platanus occidentalis
    Picea abies
    Pinus sp.
    Acer sp.
    Juniperus virginiana
    Prunus sp.

    Of course, the easiest tree to recognize even when it is not in bloom is Cornus florida (dogwood). You can tell it by its bark.

  2. Anne Larson says:

    ooo, delicious! Is that lacebark pine on the far left?

  3. Kelly Norris says:

    Pinus bungeana-yes
    Platanus occidentalis-yes
    Picea abies-yes
    Pinus-yes for #5, not #4

    The others are still up for game!

  4. William Habblett says:

    So my thought is:
    #8 is Betula
    #7 is potentially Sequiadendron
    Struggling with #6, but going to say Styphnolobium.
    #4 I can see but no name is coming to mind.
    P. bungeana through me off a little. It doesn’t do well in SW Idaho.

  5. Kelly Norris says:

    #8 is Betula lenta, yes!
    #7–think shrubby/small tree
    #6–Styphnolobium, yes!

    I’ve had a few email guesses for #4, we’ll see if anyone else comes up with it!

  6. Ronnie says:

    number# 1 dogwood #2 cottonwood # 6 elm # 7 is shag bark hickory, #8 is poplar

  7. Love the cottonwood bark … even though it is a super messy tree in my Ohio. Great Post – Got Bark – in deed!

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