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What Kind of Trees Have White Bark?

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What Kind of Trees Have White Bark?

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Trees with stunning white or chalky bark create bright contrast against their foliage and surrounding environment. The smooth and creamy colors are characteristic of few trees. Many birch trees can be categorized as having extremely white bark, for example, such as the weeping birch and paper birch. Both have a striking and almost pure white bark; these trees are famous for making birch bark canoes.

Paper Birch

Native to North America, paper birch trees, also called white birch, are deciduous trees with bright white bark and triangular-shaped leaves. Paper birch trees are used primarily for pulpwood, plywood and veneer, although the young leaves can be used for making hot tea. Its striking white bark is also used for landscaping around public parks, buildings and universities. Paper birch grows well in a variety of soils, although it prefers sandy and well-drained acidic soil. It thrives in cold temperatures with ample moisture. Paper birch is not tolerant of drought or high temperatures.

Ghost Gum

Native to Australia, the ghost gum eucalyptus tree, as its name indicates, has creamy white bark. This tree can grow up to 60 feet in height and thrives in full to part sun. The white long-lasting flowers of the ghost gum begin their blooming in early summer and are drought-tolerant. The pale green foliage on the ghost gum is characteristically pungent and smells similar to methanol. Ghost gum trees prefer rocky and sandy slopes as well as dry creek beds.

Quaking Aspen

Native to the United States, the quaking aspen is found growing across Alaska and into the western United States. Its name refers to the sound of the shaking, or "quaking," leaves in the wind. The quaking aspen is a deciduous tree with shiny dark green leaves, and can grow 65 feet high. Its white bark undergoes a peeling and thinning process to become thicker over time. In the fall, the leaves turn a stunning yellow and orange, making this tree popular in landscaping. Many young aspens are used for shelter and habitat for wildlife like deer and bears. Small mammals like rabbits use the leaves for food.

Keywords: white bark trees, paper birch tree, ghost gum tree

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.