Bark is the unsung hero of the plant kingdom. It combines the textures of Jackson Pollock, the palette of Paul Klee, the toughness of Iron Man and the fortitude of Stonehenge. Once you start looking at bark, really looking, the variety of lines, shapes, colors, forms, patterns and textures is simply astonishing. From a distance, it often looks gray, rough and dull but up close and personal it’s a whole different story. Paperbark maples peel off translucent layers of yellow, orange and red. Dawn redwoods morph into massive woolly mammoth legs. Japanese zelkovas become aerial views of multihued rice paddies carved out of mountainsides. Bark splits, shreds, sheds, splinters, fragments, cracks and curls creating fissures, canyons, great rift valleys, ribbons, scales and tectonic plates. These images are the culmination of hundreds of hours spent photographing thousands of trees at dozens of arboretums and botanical gardens. After viewing this series, you’ll never look at bark the same again.

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