Ruff, ruff

Willow bark

Tree Bark

I love trees (if you need further proof check out this and that).  Bark is a very important park of a tree and without it the tree will die.  Bark is like a tree’s skin and served the same basic function.  To see a great diagram of a tree’s layers check out this link: The Anatomy of a Tree.  Tree bark can be really useful to us too.  Did you know cinnamon comes from tree bark as does cork.  Check out the videos below to see how they are harvested!  Did you also know that aspirin comes from the bark of a willow tree?

The texture variation of different tree types is interesting to look at.  I like the really deep grooves of the willow and stringiness of the cedar.  I’m fascinated by the smooth white pealing bark of the birch trees and the patterned peals of the sycamore!  Here are some close-ups of different tree types from my neighborhood.  Enjoy!

This video shows how different spices are harvested in Shir Lanks including cinnamon using traditional methods…

Cork harvesting in Portugal…

Further reading about Trees…   
I had trouble finding children’s books specifically about tree bark, hmm!!!

Tree Bark by Hugues Vaucher, a Swiss tree enthusiast, includes more than 550 photos and more than 440 tree species from around the world.

In My Tree by Sara Gillingham is a fun little puppet board book for the very young.  We have In My Nest from the same series and my 4 year old still enjoys!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is an absolute classic about a tree who gives all it can to a boy throughout his life.

A Caldecott Medal recipient, A Tree is Nice by Janice May Undry is about all the ways a tree is nice like swinging from it’s branches!

Winter Trees by Carol Gerber (which I also reviewed in my post on winter book recommendations) is about recognizing tree types in winter.

Trees, Leaves, and Bark by Diane Burns is a children’s comprehensive field-guide for Trees.

Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus is about famous trees throughout History.  This book highlights 14 different trees from the famously useful to the legendary and it’s on my library list!

The Tree Girl by T. A. Barron, for ages 8 and up, is about a girl who is warned about yet drawn to a mystical tree and it’s secrets!



I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. This post is freaking amazing, Ann! How long did it take you to get all those photos? Does a quick walk in the woods yield that many different type of bark photos? Amazing! They are beautiful, and I had no idea aspirin came from willow bark.

    Funny story, sort of. As you know, I grew up in New Hampshire, in the woods. My dad was an OCD type of guy. So even though my mother, brother and I would all have loved to burn a fire in the fireplace, he loved to keep in clean, with just three perfectly placed white birch logs inside. Which was lovely to look at and I’ll always have a soft spot for birch trees, but made for some cold days. :)

    • Ha, ha, ha!!! I have little things like that that have to be just so!

      I took some in my neighborhood but I also when to my mom’s neighborhood where I know the trees a little better.

      The textures might be good for Photoshop stuff although I was losing light so some are a tiny bit blurry – I hate that little nagging perfectionist thing!

      Thanks, thanks, thanks!!!

  2. Love this post so much! My friend from Sri Lanka says that most cinnamon that you buy is actually it’s less expensive cousin, Cassia. The smell is similar but the real stuff is much more cinnamon-y.

    I really like all the textures of the trees that you show! It makes me want to hug a tree!!!

  3. Wow! That is so cool. I did not know all that about bark. We were just commenting on a tree in the arboretum that didn’t look like it had bark, but I am now guessing that was a sycamore.

  4. Wow, wow,wow – I LOVED this post. So chock full of interesting information. For a tree-lover like me, looking at those photos was a treat. What a collection!
    I recently took some photos of tree bark during a nature walk but looking at yours I feel like going again and capturing as many as I can.

    These books that you’ve recommended – Gosh – I love the themes of most of these. I know I’ll pick up many 😉
    A big thank you :)

    • I’m glad you liked it! This was a fun one! And by the way, I am restarting my nature table! I have a few small evergreen cuttings, a piece of paper birch bark, and a small log so far!

  5. Ann, I wanted to say THANK YOU for the amazing birch bark texture I found on your Doodles and Jots website. I used it as a replacement background for a lovely moth that landed on the white wall on our front porch. I have chosen this picture as my 365 Project image and you’ll find a link back to your website there as well as my thanks! :) Here is the picture for you to see, and there is a side view also, which uses your bark texture too! HOORAY!!

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