6.4.2 Cork Cambium

As the stem continues to increase in girth due to the activity of vascular cambium, the outer cortical and epidermis layers get broken and need to be replaced to provide new protective cell layers. Hence, sooner or later, another meristematic tissue called cork cambium or phellogen develops, usually in the cortex region. Phellogen is a couple of layers thick. It is made of narrow, thin-walled and nearly rectangular cells. Phellogen cuts off cells on both sides. The outer cells differentiate into cork or phellem while the inner cells differentiate into secondary cortex or phelloderm. The cork is impervious to water due to suberin deposition in the cell wall. The cells of secondary cortex are parenchymatous. Phellogen, phellem, and phelloderm are collectively known as periderm. Due to activity of the cork cambium, pressure builds up on the remaining layers peripheral  to phellogen and ultimately these layers die and slough off. Bark is a non-technical term that refers to all tissues exterior to the vascular cambium, therefore including secondary phloem. Bark refers to a number of tissue types, viz., periderm and secondary phloem. Bark that is formed early in the season is called early or soft bark. Towards the end of the season late or hard bark is formed. Name the various kinds of cell layers which constitute the bark. At certain regions, the phellogen cuts off closely arranged parenchymatous cells on the outer side instead of cork cells. These parenchymatous cells soon rupture the epidermis, forming a lensshaped openings called lenticels. Lenticels permit the exchange of gases between the outer atmosphere and the internal tissue of the stem. These occur in most woody trees.

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