DESCRIPTION: The outer most layer of a tree or woody plant, can be paper thin like Birch trees or two feet thick like a mature Redwood tree.
JEWELRY: Rings forged from sterling silver wire to resemble the organic slash pattern of tree bark
PROTECTION: The outermost layer of bark that is most familiar to us is a layer of mostly dead cells, called rhytidome, that help support the erect, massive shape of trees.
Bark also provides a layer of protection for the inner workings of the plant. It can keep out insects, fungus, and bacteria that would otherwise attack the fragile living cells in the trunk, branches, or stems. When an insect or a foreign object do pierce the bark, the trees will cordon off the wound. They send more bark tissue to surround the wound where it threatens the plants’ inner layers.
In the slice of wood pictured here you can see several holes surrounded by the darker tissue of the outer bark. When these wounds happened, the tree compartmentalized the damage and continued to grow around it. Tree wounds don’t get better, as they say in the business: trees don’t heal, they seal.
That’s why sometimes it appears that the tree has swallowed ropes, chains, or even an entire bicycle. It simple continues to grow around any damage.