An Ode to Bark on Arbor Day

April 12, 2011

Beautiful red bark

Tomorrow (the second Wednesday in April) is Arbor Day in Washington State.  In case you miss it, National Arbor Day is April 29th this year.  In keeping with this celebration of trees, let me introduce you to Bark: An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees by Cedric Pollet.  Once you savor at the remarkable images in this book, you will never again look at trees in the same way.

The Bark Book

Over the course of ten years, Pollet travelled the world to photograph trees, and he chose the images in Bark based on aesthetics, originality, curiosity, rarity, inaccessibility, or usefulness to mankind.  Many of his photographs are like abstract portraits.

There are many reasons to appreciate trees:  they clean and re-oxygenate the air we breathe; they give cooling shade on hot days; they provide beautiful foliage, blossoms, architecture.  But I will spend Arbor Day this year appreciating the beauty of bark and reveling in the diversity of bark’s patterns and color.

Once you become attentive to the bark in your world, you’ll be astounded at how lovely it can be.  I took these photographs on a single day while walking to work:

I love the peachy color palette of this tree's bark.

Striated reds

Doesn't this bark remind you of the surface of a pan of brownies?

Birch bark peeling into a scroll

Peeling bark

Deeply grooved bark

Cracks and lines

I love the sunset colors in this bark.

3 Responses to “An Ode to Bark on Arbor Day”

  1. Lynne Says:

    Beautiful and fun! Whatever design the mind can imagine, it seems like it was always present somewhere in nature.

  2. Margaret Says:


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