Home Gardening Decorative Bark on Deciduous Bushes within the Midwest – FineGardening

Decorative Bark on Deciduous Bushes within the Midwest – FineGardening


A function that many overlook when choosing a tree is the bark. Distinctive bark contributes visible curiosity, and an appreciative eye will benefit from the limitless vary of lovely colours and textures. Understandably, we would initially be taking a look at timber for his or her potential for shade, screening, flowers, colourful foliage, fall coloration, or different traits, however the worth of fascinating bark shouldn’t be forgotten. Some bark is sort of refined through the rising season. The colour, patterns, and texture will undoubtedly turn into extra conspicuous within the winter months. Listed below are 5 of my favourite alternatives for bark with winter curiosity.

Hallelujah lacebark elm
Grey, peeling strips of ‘Hallelujah’ lacebark elm reveal tender, tan bark beneath. Picture: Mark Dwyer

‘Hallelujah’ lacebark elm

Ulmus parvifolia ‘Hallelujah’, Zones 4–9
Measurement: 40 to 50 toes tall and 30 to 60 toes vast
Circumstances: Full solar; well-drained soil

This cold-tolerant, fast-growing elm is a tricky, quick grower in lots of settings and can present shade rapidly. The clear, shiny foliage is noteworthy, though the bark traits solely get higher with age. At a younger age, intense exfoliation produces many shorter, curling, and peeling items of bark that reveal a spread of brown, cream, and inexperienced colours. With age, nonetheless, the exfoliation diminishes, exposing a big and noticeable camouflage-colored mottling of grey, cream, orange, brown, and inexperienced.

Paperbark maple
Paperbark maple resembles a tree on hearth, with flickering shades of darkish pink bark. Picture: Mark Dwyer

Paperbark maple

Acer griseum, Zones 4–8
Measurement: 15 to 20 toes tall and 15 to 25 toes vast
Circumstances: Full solar to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

This smaller maple is a superb specimen tree, though it may be a bit extra tender within the northern a part of its rising vary. The darkish inexperienced, trifoliate foliage turns pink and orange in fall. As soon as the leaves fall, the exfoliating bark has an opportunity to shine. It ranges in coloration from copper to orange to cinnamon and pink, with probably the most outstanding peeling on youthful trunks and branches. However the trunk and department framework are a focus within the winter panorama on timber of all ages.

shagbark hickory
A mature shagbark hickory instructions consideration year-round with its outstanding ridged and cracked bark. Picture: Mark Dwyer

Shagbark hickory

Carya ovata, Zones 4–8
Measurement: 50 to 70 toes tall and 50 to 70 toes vast
Circumstances: Full solar to partial shade; well-drained soil

This wonderful native tree has a broad vary of distribution, from Quebec to Minnesota and south to Texas and Georgia. Give this huge shade tree loads of area to develop, and embody it in woodland restorations as properly. The nuts are loved by a variety of wildlife. The most effective traits of the lengthy, peeling strips of bark enhance with age. Vital curling of the bark is a typical attribute that helps individuals determine this native species.

Exclamation London planetree
Cream and grey colours distinction to attract the attention to the bark of Exclamation!™ London planetree. Picture: Mark Dwyer

Exclamation!™ London planetree

Platanus × acerifolia ‘Morton Circle’, Zones 4–8
Measurement: 50 to 60 toes tall and 30 to 50 toes vast
Circumstances: Full solar; well-drained soil

This huge, fast-growing shade tree is extraordinarily sturdy in gardens and concrete landscapes and tolerates a variety of soil situations, together with moist and dry conditions and clay soils. This choice additionally tolerates alkaline soils and areas which can be impacted by highway salt. The mottled bark options shades of white, cream, tan, inexperienced, and brown, which stand out all year long, however significantly through the barren winter months. The gorgeous marbling improves with age and is harking back to camouflage patterns.

China Snow Peking lilac branches
Vivid, coppery China Snow® Peking lilac branches appear to glow towards the mirrored gentle of snow. Picture: Mark Dwyer

China Snow® Peking lilac

Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis ‘Morton’, Zones 3–7
Measurement: 20 to 25 toes tall and 15 to 25 toes vast
Circumstances: Full solar; moist, well-drained soil

It is a lovely specimen tree in a full-sun location the place the late spring, aromatic white flower plumes bloom for weeks. The decorative bark is conspicuous all year long. Exfoliating layers of coppery, amber bark start to be extra noticeable and supply extra coloration distinction because the leaves drop in autumn. The peeling is most conspicuous on the youthful progress. However irrespective of the age of the tree, shiny copper-colored trunks and branches look wonderful in a snowy panorama.

—Mark Dwyer, former director of horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, Wisconsin, operates Panorama Prescriptions by MD.