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Related to tanbark: tanbark oak
1. The bark of various trees used as a source of tannin.
2. Shredded bark from which the tannin has been extracted, used to cover circus arenas, racetracks, and other surfaces.
(Plants) the bark of certain trees, esp the oak and hemlock, used as a source of tannin. Often shortened to: tan
1. the bark of the oak, hemlock, etc., bruised and broken by a mill and used esp. in tanning hides.
2. a surface covered with pieces of tanbark, esp. a circus ring.
Chips of tree bark rich in tannin, commonly oak tree bark. As an aside, the leaves of trees like elm have little tannin in them and can be safely eaten by cattle, while oak leaves have so much tannin in them that, while they can be eaten by horses, cannot be safely eaten by cattle. During the Depression of the 1930s and during times of severe drought, it was not uncommon to chop down any available elm trees so cattle could eat the leaves.