Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTO! Beautiful bark

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kathy Maras

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!

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kathy Maras
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kathy Maras



Welcome to the Fine Gardening GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY blog! Every weekday we post a new photo of a great garden, a spectacular plant, a stunning plant combination, or any number of other subjects. Think of it as your morning jolt of green.

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  1. nattyfritters 04/04/2011

    crape myrtle, snakebark maple

  2. user-7006895 04/04/2011

    Totally fabulous bark! I was obsessed with cherry bark for awhile, then birch bark -- now I might just have a new favorite.

  3. PeonyFan 04/04/2011

    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?

  4. amanda4973 04/04/2011

    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:

  5. sheilaschultz 04/04/2011

    This kind of bark just makes me want to peel it... way too much temptation to have in my own yard!

  6. shirleyjean 04/12/2011

    Sorry, but this looks too much like a burn victim to me.

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