10 Trees with Peeling Barks for Landscaping

Not a lot of people pay attention to the bark of a tree. But choosing a species with the right bark can make a huge difference, not only in aesthetics but also for the overall health of the tree. Peeling or flaking barks not only adds a very distinct look to your property but can also be very beneficial for the tree. Let’s take a look at some of the best options you can go for.

Some of the best options for peeling or flaking barks include Paperback Maple, Kousa Dogwood, River Birch, Korean Stewartia, Seven Son Flower, Persian Parrotia, Crape Myrtle, Paper Birch, Shagbark Hickory, and Lacebark Pine.

tree with peeling bark

Top 10 Trees with Peeling/Flaking Barks

Paperback Maple is known for its beautiful cinnamon-colored peeling bark which becomes the center of attraction in your backyard or property. They are a deciduous species that are slow-growing and only grow up to a height of 20-25 feet making them perfect for planting on front yards or patios.

This specie prefers a partially shady and sunny climate and damp soil. To expose more of the trunk, you can remove the lowest branches every winter. They have a reach of about 18-20 feet so keep them at least 25 feet away from any windows or walls of the property.

Kousa Dogwood is known for its dalmatian-like appearance which happens due to its flaky bark. It also helps the tree is becoming much more tolerant to diseases, pests, and bugs. On top of this, the species is also much more tolerant to extreme heat and sun. Because of its bright red-colored marble-sized fruits and white-pink-colored flowers, this tree always gives a different aesthetic depending on the season.

They only grow up to a height of 25 feet which makes them perfect for growing in backyards and patio as long as they are at least 20 feet away from the property. Their ideal condition is a sunny or partially shady climate. Make sure the soil is damp especially when the tree is young and keep pruning the competing trunks for a more aesthetic look.

This species is also known for its dalmatian-like patterns due to its scaly or peeling bark. They only grow up to about 20 feet tall and can sometimes be even used as shrubs. Because of its small size, they are perfect as ornamental trees. They also have a kaleidoscope of colors during the fall with a blend of gold, yellow, orange, and scarlet making them a spectacular addition to any property.

They also produce white-colored flowers which add to their aesthetic quality. Their ideal growing condition is slightly acidic soil which is loose and rich in nutrients and slightly moist throughout the year. Make sure to regularly prune the tree to maintain its proper growth and aesthetic quality.

This is a fast-growing species that can grow up to a height of 40 feet. Because of their slightly larger size, they should ideally be planted in larger areas and away from any property. This species is also known for its cinnamon-colored peeling barks and it also produced yellow-colored oval-shaped leaves during the fall.

They should ideally be grown near lakes or creeks where the soil is wet most time of the year. One advantage is that this variety is more heat tolerant when compared to others but ideally grows in partially shady or sunny climates. You should regularly soak the soil with water in case it is not naturally wet.

Seven Son Flower is quite a rare species to get hold of but it is one of the most underappreciated varieties for ornamental use. They are small trees that can also be cultivated as large shrubs and are often trouble-free from any diseases and pests. They have a light tan-colored bark that starts peeling or shedding during fall.

They also have a large spectrum of colors throughout the year, starting with white fragrant flowers during late summer which leads to long purple fruits. They only grow up to a height of 18-20 feet making them ideal for even small backyards or patio. They grow best when the climate is sunny most of the year.

This species only grows up to about 30 feet tall and can either be used as a single-trunk small tree or multiple trunk large shrub. They are largely known for their spectacular foliage colors during fall which turns golden yellow and a Dalmatian-like appearance due to the peeling bark.

Because of the small size, they are ideally used in smaller properties and can be cultivated without much trouble, and requires less care when compared to other species.

Out of all the Crape Myrtle varieties, these two are some of the toughest species. They have virtually no care-taking needs and once established, are pretty much self-sustaining. Both of these species are known for their cinnamon-colored peeling barks and white-colored flowers which create a beautiful landscape.

Both of these species grow up to a height of 25 feet but can easily be kept much smaller. Their ideal growing region is in the southern states but can also be grown in central Pennsylvania. While the fall foliage of Sarah’s favorite turns orange-red, Natchez provides a bronze gold color. Both of these species are also resistant to powdery mildew which is common in other Crape Myrtle varieties.

Paper Birch got its name due to its flaky and thin white colored bark which often peels off and has been historically used for making paper and wrappings. This species is native to North America and is also one of the first species to cover an area that was ravaged by fire.

They can grow up to about 60-70 feet tall which makes them ideal for growing on larger properties. They are not able to tolerate high heat or humidity and are quite short-lived. Their fall colors turn to a bright yellow gold which makes them a spectacle during the season.

Shagbark Hickory is a slow-growing tree that is known for its fuzzy appearance. This happens when the bark turns into long narrow strips which start peeling off as the tree gets older. With really old trees, you can see the bark curling out while peeling.

This variety can grow up to a height of 100 feet which makes them ideal only for large estates and away from the property. Their ideal growing condition is moist and well-drained soil and they are also quite a tolerant of drought and shade. But one thing to keep in mind is that this tree can attract a lot of insects during the summer.

Lacebark Pine is quite different when compared to the other species on this list. Because of its evergreen needle-shaped leaves nature, the trunk of this tree is not as prominent when compared to others. This species is also bigger when compared to the rest, which makes them difficult to grow as aesthetic ornamental trees.

Even this species has a Dalmatian look due to the flaking bark similar to the Kousa Dogwoods and Stewarts. They are ideally grown in sunny climates.


Trees with peeling bark are a great addition to any property to increase its aesthetic properties. They have a distinct look which often makes them the star of the scenery. Some of the best options for peeling bark trees include Lacebark Pine, Shagbark Hickory, Paper Birch, Crape Myrtle, and many more.

Recommended reading:

9 Landscaping Trees with Red Bark
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