Out in the Trinities is where you will find an abundance of trees known as madrones. There are also some small pockets of them growing in the very western Sierra Nevadas. I’ve seen them growing often alongside Douglas fir trees. They are an evergreen tree that has lime green broad leaves shaped like footballs. Their most notable characteristic is their peeling red bark that makes their trunk look like a mosaic of reds, browns, and yellows. The madrone is related to manzanita, and by looking at the bark you can easily see that.
The bark is very useful as a flavoring agent in food. It gives a very mild earthy taste that has nodes of cinnamon, mushrooms, and forest floor. I like to drink it as a tea in the winter. I’ve also heard of people smoking the bark but I haven’t personally tried it.
Madrones will also give berries, just like their cousin manzanita. You can use the berries for jams, ciders, or eat them raw.