Peeling Bark on Ornamental Trees

One of the delights of growing several species and cultivars of trees in our garden is being able to look at, observe and touch peeling bark that appears on several. Each different birch has different coloured peeled bark and some peel off more than others. Birches are the best bark peelers of all, but other trees do join in. Prunus serrula shows rich coloured ribbons of bark in a beautiful deep ginger colour.

First let’s look at some of our birches. The first batch of photos are of Betula albosinensis ‘Kanzu’. As the years go on the bark gets more and more musty purple. This birch has so many colours on the main trunk.

I then move on to another albosensis variety of birch called Betula albosinensis ‘Septentronalis’, which has much more orange-ginger peeling bark. It peels back from the main trunk and main branches and falls to the ground in sheets.

The deep ginger coloured bark of Prunus serrula is in complete contrast to the paler trunks of the betulas.

A small tree which we grow for its winter-flowering is Cornus mas, which produces bright yellow spidery flowers in winter. The flowers burst from the main trunk and branches and share with us its gentle scent. After a few years of pruning to do formative pruning we can now appreciate the grey rough peeling bark, a great place for insects to shelter and over-winter.

One of the youngest betulas in our garden is ‘Hergest’ which displays gingery coloured peeling bark and very obvious lenticels, marking the trunk. It will change colour as it grows.

White stemmed birches mostly Betula utilis jacqemontiii, are probably the most widely grown of all birches. We grow ours in a typical trio formation. These specimens are Betula utilis ‘Snow Queen’ with bright white bark which shows gentle salmon colouration beneath peeled bark.

Finally I will share with you the tree whose bark peels off in thin strips. In a few months it will give us the pleasure of seeing its white clumps of flowers. It is quite an unusual garden tree and is known as Heptocodium miconiodes.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

2 replies on “Peeling Bark on Ornamental Trees”

‘ Lenticels’ – you learn something new everyday. What a nice word to go with this beautiful collection of images. Now can I get it into a conversation this evening?

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