Bark: The Formation, Characteristics, and Uses of Bark Around the World

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Timber Press, 1993 - Gardening - 174 pages
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Hundreds of books have been written on trees, their flowers, leaves, and fruit, but until now none had been written with special emphasis on bark. This incredibly fascinating book detailing the formation, characteristics, and uses of bark around the world demonstrates that what we often think of as a dull, plain covering for trees is, in fact, an amazingly varied and subtly beautiful part of nature that provides humans, insects, and animals with a multitude of important products. Bark is much more than a protective covering for a tree; it is an influential part of our everyday lives. In an easy-to-read style, the authors discuss the structure and function of bark, the unique qualities in bark that make tree identification possible, and the ingenious ways bark has adapted to a hostile environment. Separate chapters on bark-derived products - such as tannin, resin, latex, medicine and poison, various hallucinatory compounds, flavorings for food, and cork - illustrate the diverse and creative ways in which bark has been put to use. From making cloth and canoes to providing fuel and fiber, people around the world have found bark to be both beautiful and beneficial. And in the world of insects and animals, bark functions as camouflage, food, and home for a variety of creatures.

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About the author (1993)

Ghillean is director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, in Kew, England.

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