|Older lenticels on sugar maple (with gouge from squirrel), kind of looks like a monkey face|
|Velvet mite on bizarre ridges of hackberry. Lenticells are a yellowish color and rather non-descript as they age|
|Diamond shaped lenticels of quaking aspen bark, looks like a punk's studded belt|
|Orbiculate lenticels of staghorn sumac bark|
|Vertical orientation of lenticels on Glossy Buckthorn twig|
Punctate lenticels on red oak
- The shape of the lenticels can be spotted or punctate (most species), rounded or orbiculate (boxelder, sumac) or linear/elongate (cherry, birch, glossy buckthorn)
- Their orientation either vertically or horizontally (transverse or perpendicular) to the branch. In thinner barked species, the lenticels will remain active over a longer period of time. As the tree's trunk/branch thickens, the lenticels expand and on something like paper birch, the lenticels can be quite long.
- The color of the lenticels can be in sharp contrast to the twig or roughly the same hue; they can be white, yellow, orange, brown, red, or black (the vast majority are in the white range)
- The texture can be fuzzy, or powdery and break apart when rubbed.
- Lenticel abundance can be great or small
- Placement can be distributed evenly over the bark or concentrated on the underside of the twig or nearest the nodes.
- As a tree ages, lenticels become distorted in different ways.
|Far fewer lenticels were on the underside (left) of alternate-leaf dogwood than on upper surface (right)|
|The enormous elongate, horizontal lenticels on paper birch, with my thumb for scale|
|Twig and mature bark of glossy buckthorn, showing distortion of aged lenticels from vertical to horizontal orientation|
In black cherry the lenticels elongate horizontally as the tree matures. As the bark thickens the lenticels eventually close off. Over time the plates (people describe them as potato chip-esque) fall off. The exposed surfaces are a deep burnt orange before fading to a darker gray, and lack any visible sign of lenticels. The image to the right is of the backside of the "lenticeled" plate on the left. It lacks any sign of the horizontal lines.
Contrast this with paper birch bark. The lenticels continue to elongate as the tree ages and the bark thickens. Rather than having a thicker, corky bark, paper birch sheds barks in sheets (each layer of bark represents one year of growth). In the image above you can see the lenticels marking the inner bark beneath a relatively thin outer bark. The tree was about 16" in diameter.