Cherry tree bark identification

Some Cherry trees can be identified by their distinctive bark. The horizontal lines on Cherry tree bark are lenticels. These are pores through which the tree can breath. The dead cork cells of the bark are filled with a waxy substance that makes them resistant to decay and stops the transmission of air and water.

Bark consists of an inner layer of phloem and an outer layer of dead cork. The function of the cork layer is to keep out water and diseases and, in some trees, protect the tree from fire. The function of Phloem is to carry sugars and nutrients from the leaves or storage vessels to the rest of the tree. Young trees often die, following bark stripping by animals, because it removes the Phloem layer and so stops the transport of sugars and nutrients.

Some trees such as planes, birches and cherries regularly shed their bark. Cherries and Birches shed bark in strips and become banded in appearance as the old and new bark can be seen at the same time. Bark shedding, known as exfoliation, may be a sign of stress but in Cherries and Birches exfoliation may be a controlled way of getting rid of a build up of parasites Alternatively in those species that photosynthesise through their bark, it may be a way of replacing old, light blocking layers with new more effective layers. To learn more about tree bark click HERE

Cherry tree bark identification – colour, banding and lenticels of Wild Cherry, Tibetan Cherry, Manchurian Cherry and Winter Cherry

Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) 

Tibetan Cherry (Prunus serrula)

 Manchurian Cherry (Prunus maackii)

 Winter Cherry (Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’)