It is true that the bark of some trees is a pretty mundane surface of gray, beige or brown; but there are others that dazzle with their palettes and textures. Notable in that regard is the Lacebark Elm, which enchants us with its patterns that often look like topographical maps.
I was surprised to learn that the bark of a tree not only grows as the tree grows, but for many species the bark also changes its appearance entirely. Compare the bark of a Douglas Fir with an old growth Douglas Fir, or the young and mature Black Cherry bark and you will see what I mean. The dramatic changes in bark is one of the reasons it can be so
difficult to accurately identify a tree.