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Northwest Regional Reports

Winter Bark for Color and Texture

These deciduous trees and shrubs provide interest with no foliage

The bark of ‘Cardinal’ redtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal,’ Zones 3–8) is bright red when young, and fades to shades of orange, yellow, and chartreuse as it ages. Photo: Jason Jorgensen

February is an in-between time in the garden, although there are still plenty of chores to keep up with. But when the weather is cooperative, we must take the time to enjoy our gardens and landscapes. Many of the early flowering plants and shrubs are finished blooming by now, and the late winter plants have not quite started. This is when I start to look around and enjoy other aspects of plants in the garden. The bark on many trees and shrubs has some very interesting patterns and colors and can create some wonderful additions to your garden. Here are some examples that you can enjoy this winter.

Crape Myrtle

‘Natchez’ crepe myrtle bark
The patchwork patterns of ‘Natchez’ crape myrtle bark are layered in different shades of tan, creating interesting textural displays. Photo: Jason Jorgensen

The light and dark patterns on the bark of deciduous crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp. and cvs., Zones 6–9)…

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