After leaves and overall size and shape, bark seems to be the last thing people consider when choosing a tree, but maybe it should be the first! Kathy Maras in Glen Ellyn, Illinois sent in these photos she took of a paperbark maple (Acer griseum, USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8) at the Morton Arboretum last year. Whew! Who cares about foliage when you could look at this all year long? Thanks, Kathy, for sending these in!
What other trees have beautiful bark? Chime in below. I’ll start: Lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana, Zones 4-7). Love it!
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crape myrtle, snakebark maple
Totally fabulous bark! I was obsessed with cherry bark for awhile, then birch bark -- now I might just have a new favorite.
This is indeed a wonderful tree with great bark. However, I was surprised to see that it is listed as hardy to zone 4. Are there any zone 4 gardeners that have actually grown this tree?
Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamillia) also has beautiful bark, and cooler-toned colors than the rust-colored paperbark maple. It also has a graceful, upward-reaching growth habit, which makes it a good choice for the small gardens of Seattle, where I live. It's also summer blooming, with camellia-like, white flowers. I planted this tree last year on the enthusiastic recommendation of a local nursery manager, and it's doing well in full shade, but also thrives in full sun.
There are good pictures of this tree at a blog created by Victoria Gardens in Rosendale, NY: http://theshopatvictoriagardens.blogspot.com/2009/04/car-trunk-trees-stewatia-pseudocamllia.html
This kind of bark just makes me want to peel it... way too much temptation to have in my own yard!
Sorry, but this looks too much like a burn victim to me.
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