Decorative bark and good foliage color

Decorative bark and good foliage color


ACER CAPILLIPES Young bark striated with white; young growths coral red, leaves turning crimson in autumn. A. davidii, young bark shiny green, striated with white; leaves usually turn yellow and purple in autumn. Long chains of keys striking. A. griseum, paper bark maple, the outer bark peeling in papery flakes to show the copper-colored inner bark; opening leaves bronze colored, turning red or orange in autumn. A. grosseri, A. g. hersii, young bark green or yellowish striated with white, leaves orange and crimson in autumn. A. pennsylvanicum, moosewood, young bark green striped and patterned with white, the large leaves pinkish on opening turning clear in autumn. A. rufinerve, bark green, with an elaborate pattern of greyish markings, persisting on old trunks; leaves red when young and usually crimson in autumn, when the long chains of keys are attractive.

BETULA PAPYRIFERA Paper-bark birch, shining white bark, the large leaves turning pale gold in early autumn, making it more effective than other birches with colored stems.

LIQUIDAMBAR STYRACIFLUA The American sweet gum has interesting corky bark in winter, the leaves usually turning purple and crimson in autumn.

PARROTIA PERSICA Particularly good if trained to standard form, the grey bark flaking away in a pattern resembling the London plane, while the leaves turn brilliant golds and crimsons (see also Early flowering trees).

PHELLODENDRON AMURENSE The grey, corky trunk is of picturesque form, and the handsome yellow leaves turn yellow in autumn.

SORBUS AUCUPARIA BEISSNERI This handsome cultivar of the mountain ash has red branchlets anal a copper colored trunk, the large leaves with deeply cut leaflets turning old gold in autumn.


Many conifers with yellow, silver or variegated foliage (listed under those headings) give the interest of form and foliage color at all seasons. Some pines, when their lower branches are removed, also have interesting bark, P. bungeana, the lacebark pine, has a bark which peels off to show white patches; P. nigra maritima, the Corsican pine, develops a striking erect trunk with pale scales between fissures in the dark bark. The Scots pine, P. sylvestris, with its smooth pink or red bark in the upper part of the tree, is singularly picturesque. The bark of the well-named redwood, Sequoia sempervirens, never loses its astonishing color. Except P. bungeana, which is rare and slow-growing, these trees are only suitable for large gardens or parks.

Decorative bark in winter.

In addition to the foregoing, the principal decorative distinction of the following is their bark, the coloring of their foliage not being exceptional.

ARBUTUS x ARACHNOIDES Hybrid strawberry tree. Trunk and branches cinnamon red.

BETULA Several birches have singularly beautiful colored bark, though this does not always show on young trees. Among the best are B. albosinensis septentrionalis,orange-brown with a grey bloom; B. ermanii, trunk cream-colored, the bark peeling off, the branches orange-brown; B. jacquemontiana, the whitest bark of all-the white can be rubbed off like chalk; B. lutea, the peeling, paper-like bark being yellowish; B. mandschurica, vars. japonica and szechuanica, have very white stems and branches; B. maximowicziana, the largest-leaved birch, the trunk at first orange-brown becoming white; B. pendula, the native British birch, varies greatly in the color of its stem and good white-barked seedlings must be selected.

CORNUS MAS Old trees of cornelian cherry have interesting trunks with attractive shaggy bark.

CORYLUS COLURNA The pale, corky, scaling bark on the Turkish hazel is attractive.

EUCALYPTUS Several species have interesting grey, peeling bark.

JUGLANS NIGRA The grey bark of this black walnut, deeply furrowed into a network pattern, is most striking.

PLATANUS x HYBRIDA The peeling of patches of bark showing the greenish grey inner bark of the London plane is well known.

POPULUS ALBA The bark of the white poplar is smooth and grey, with black markings, except at the base of the trunk; P. canescens, the grey poplar, has bark of a distinctive yellowish-grey color.

PRUNUS MAACKII The Manchurian bird cherry has smooth bark, brownish yellow, and peeling like that of a birch; P. serrula, the bark is shiny, mahogany colored, from which the thin outer skin peels, the trunk of a mature tree having white circular scars around it.

QUERCUS SUBER The thick, ridged bark of the cork oak, not hardy in cold situations, makes it a distinctive tree.

SALIX DAPHNOIDES The violet willow owes its name to the purple shoots covered with a bloom giving them in places a violet color; S. purpurea, the purple osier, has reddish-purple slender branches.

ZELKOVA SINICA This remarkable tree has smooth grey bark which peels away in scales to reveal a rusty-colored under bark.

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