“Barking up the Right Tree”

1)  Stewartia monadelpha                                                                  Orange Bark Stewartia

Close-up photo of Stewartia monadelpha bark
Joanna Long
Close-up photo of Stewartia monadelpha bark

Photo of Orange Bark Stewartia

  • Stewartia monadelpha is a small tree (up to 25 feet high) with stunning cinnamon bark.
  • A member of the Camellia family, the white flowers resemble those of small, simple Camellias and can be viewed in early summer.
  • Several beautiful specimens can be viewed at the southern end of the Camellia Collection.

2)   Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei  ‘Muskogee’                             Muskogee Crepe Myrtle

Close-up photo of Lagerstoemia indica x fauiei 'Muskogee' bark
Joanna Long
Close-up photo of Lagerstoemia indica x fauiei ‘Muskogee’ bark

Photo of Muskogee Crepe Myrtle


  • This garden hybrid was developed by the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
  • The greyish-tan bark exfoliates in patchwork patterns reminiscent of jigsaw puzzle pieces.
  • The pink blooms are a welcome sight in late summer and early fall.
  • You can see a grove of Muskogee Crepe Myrtles just west of the Graham Visitors Center near Azalea Way.

3)   Arbutus menziesii                                                                             Pacific Madrone

Close-up photo of Pacific Madrone bark
Joanna Long
Close-up photo of Arbutus menziesii bark

Photo of Pacific Madrone


  • Our only native broad-leaved evergreen tree, Arbutus menziesii are much beloved for their reddish exfoliating bark and twisted growth form.
  • A relative of rhododendrons, heather, and blueberries, these trees flower in spring and by fall, are laden with clusters of orange berries.
  • A. menziesii thrive in dry rocky sites, usually close to saltwater.
  • The trees are susceptible to a variety of fungal pathogens and often have large cankers on their trunks and branches.
  • You can view these trees along the south end of Arboretum Drive.

4)   Quercus suber                                                                                          Cork Oak

Close-up photo of Cork Oak bark
Joanna Long
Close-up photo of Quercus suber bark

Photo of Cork Oak


  • From the Mediterranean region, this thickly-barked oak is the source of cork used for wine bottles, dart boards, and flooring.
  • This evergreen tree can grow to be 65 feet tall, and prefers well-drained soil and full sun.
  • A nice specimen with deeply-fissured bark can be seen in the Mediterranean section of the Arboretum.

5)   Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’                                            Manchurian Snake Bark Maple

Close-up photo of Manchurian Snake Bark Maple bark
Joanna Long
Close-up photo of Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’ bark

Photo of Manchurian Snake Bark Maple


  • The green and white-striped bark of this small tree is especially striking in the winter.
  • ‘Joe Witt’ was selected from the Washington Park Arboretum by local plantsman, Dan Hinkley and named in honor of former Arboretum curator, Joseph A. Witt.
  • The Winter Garden is home to a lovely Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’.