When designing our gardens we often choose trees based on admirable spring/summer traits such as flower or leaf colour but rarely do we pick plants based on winter attraction. Bark in particular is a beautiful characteristic that is often overlooked yet it provides ornamental value 365 days of the year, particularly in the winter.
Here are the top trees with the best bark, please click on the above image to see pictures of each one:
### Paper Birch – Betula papyrifera
This native birch is one of the few trees with chalk-white bark and its multi-stemmed habit make this a great focal point any time of year.
### River Birch – Betula nigra
This birch is also native with peeling orange-red bark which adds contrasting colour to the landscape, also this particular species is as tough as nails!
### London Plane Tree – Platanus x acerifolia ‘Bloodgood’
This majestic tree is arguably better in winter than in summer! They have gorgeous mottled bark with white, grey and beige colours – almost like an army camouflage. They also have beautiful burr-like fruit that lasts all winter and reminds me of holiday ornaments.
### Paperbark Maple – Acer griseum
This is easily one of my favourite trees of all time! This slower growing ornamental tree is perfect for small gardens and its top feature is its bright cinnamon-red peeling bark.
### Persian Parrotia – Parrotia persica
For those who want the look of a London Plane Tree for a small garden this is the perfect tree for you! The Parrotia is a small, multi-branched tree with the same camouflaged-coloured bark as the London Plane Tree. This species is very tough – heat, drought and wind tolerant, perfect for an urban garden!
### Lacebark Pine – Pinus bungeana
Last but not least, for those who love evergreens this is a must have for your collection! This multi-branched evergreen has camouflage bark with grey, green and pink colour tones. There is a beautiful specimen at the Niagara Parks Botanical Garden Arboretum for those who love to take winter walks.
I hope you take some of these into consideration when planning your gardens for the spring. Do you have any pictures of your winter garden? We would love to see them, please post them on our Facebook page!
Until next time,
*Post contributed by Andrea Weddum, Landscape Designer*
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