The 20 Best Trees with Red Bark for Any Landscape

Best Trees with Red Bark

These trees are on fire! Well, not literally. 

We’re here to walk you through the 20 best trees with red bark that will give a pop of color, excitement, or even a subtle accent piece in your backyard. 

Keep reading if you’re ready to add fiery hues to your backyard! 

1. Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum)

Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum)
Image: Gardening Express
Scientific NameAcer palmatum
Common NameCoral bark maple, Japanese maple
FamilySapindaceae (soapberry family)
LightFull sun to partial shade
SoilMoist, well-drained, acidic soil
Height15-20 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree

The coral bark maple tree is a deciduous tree famous for its rich foliage and red bark. It’s native to Japan and Korea and makes excellent ornamental or bonsai trees for small gardens. 

This tree grows five-lobes leaves that turn red, orange, and yellow in changing seasons. It has a distinct coral-red bark that is prominent even during winter. 

The coral bark maple is easy to grow as it needs only full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It also thrives on acidic soil and regular watering, especially during summer, for optimum growth. 

2. River Birch (Betula nigra)

River Birch (Betula nigra)
Image: Tidewater Trees
Scientific NameBetula nigra
Common NameRiver birch, water birch
FamilyBetulaceae (birch family)
LightFull sun to partial shade
SoilMoist, well-drained, acidic soil
Height40-70 feet
Growth RateFast-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree, shade tree

The river birch tree is famous for its peeling bark in shades of red, orange and cinnamon. They’re indigenous to the eastern United States. 

Its leaves grow oval and with serrated edges. During summer, you can enjoy its green foliage while its tiny yellow flowers bloom in the spring.

The river birch is a fast-growing tree. It can tolerate wet or dry soil and live as long as 70 years. They’re best used as ornamental or shade trees in yards, streambanks, riverbanks, or wet locations. 

3. Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Image: Flora Finder
Scientific NameCornus sericea
Common NameRed-osier dogwood, red osier dogwood
FamilyCornaceae (dogwood family)
LightFull sun to part shade
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height6-9 feet
Growth RateFast-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental shrub, erosion control, wildlife habitat

The red-osier dogwood is a native shrub in North America that is easily identifiable by its bright red stems. They’re typically grown in wet areas, stream banks, marches or gardens for erosion control. 

The red-osier dogwood has oval-shaped, serrated leaves, producing white flowers and black edible berries. The sweet berries are usually eaten as fresh as a snack or to make jams and jellies. 

It’s a low-maintenance hardy shrub that prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun to part shade. However, it’s susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildew, but thankfully, these diseases can be treated with fungicides. 

4. Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)

Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)
Image: Van Den Berk
Scientific NameStewartia pseudocamellia
Common NameJapanese Stewartia, Common Stewartia, Korean Stewartia, Natsu-tsubaki
FamilyTheaceae (tea family)
LightFull sun to partial shade
SoilMoist, well-drained, acidic soil
Height12-40 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceMedium
Use/sOrnamental tree

The Japanese Stewartia has a unique red-mottled pattern of colors in its bark that exfoliates as it ages. It also produces fragrant camellia-like flowers during summer. 

This tree is indigenous to Japan and Korea and has become a famous ornamental tree in gardens, parks and landscaped areas in temperate regions of the world. 

Japanese Stewartia is a slow-growing tree that prefers moist, well-drained and acidic soil. You can add this versatile tree to add a touch of timeless elegance to your landscape.

5. Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)

Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
Image: The Dawes Arboretum
Scientific NameAcer griseum
Common NamePaperbark maple, blood-bark maple
FamilySapindaceae (soapberry family)
LightFull sun to partial shade
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height20-30 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree

The paperback maple tree is famous for its exfoliating bark, which exposes its orange-red or cinnamon-brown inner bark. It’s a favorite ornamental tree that’s native to central China. 

It produces trifoliate leaves in the fall, which change from orange to red. On the other hand, during spring, it blooms tiny yellow-green flowers followed by samaras or winged seed pods. 

The paperbark maple is another slow-growing tree we recommend for gardeners who want elegant, long-lived plants. They’re also low-maintenance, preferring only moist, well-drained soil and can tolerate shade. 

6. Tibetan Cherry (Prunus serrula)

Tibetan Cherry (Prunus serrula)
Image: Roots
Scientific NamePrunus serrula
Common NameTibetan Cherry, Himalayan Cherry, Snow Cherry
FamilyRosaceae (rose family)
LightFull sun
SoilWell-drained soil
Height10-15 meters (33-50 feet)
Growth RateFast-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree, edible tree
Edible fruits, medicinal bark

The Tibetan cherry tree has smooth, shiny brown-red bark, complementing the beautiful pink flowers it produces during spring. They also produce serrated dark green leaves and small edible red fruits. 

Tibetan cherry fruits are sweet and edible; you can make jams and jellies. Its striking red bark, however, has medicinal properties that can treat diarrhea and fever. 

This tree is indigenous to the Himalayan region. It’s best grown as an ornamental tree in gardens, parks and other landscapes in temperate climates.

Tibetan cherry trees are fast-growing, so that you can use them as a specimen tree or hedge. They’re also for gardeners who want to enjoy flowers in the early spring.

7. Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora)

Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora)
Image: Gardenia
Scientific NameEucalyptus pauciflora
Common NameSnow Gum, White Sallee, Cabbage Gum, Weeping Gum, Ghost Gum
FamilyMyrtaceae (myrtle family)
LightFull sun
SoilWell-drained soil
Height20-30 meters (65-100 feet)
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree, windbreak, shade tree

Snow Gum trees have a majestic smooth white bark that peels off and shows its cinnamon red strips. They’re a famous ornamental tree native to the mountains of Australia. 

The tree also grows long, narrow, blue-green leaves, white flowers and tiny seed capsules. They’re commonly grown in gardens, parks and landscapes in temperate regions. 

The Snow Gum is a slow-growing tree that prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It’s relatively pest and disease-free but is prone to eucalyptus rush, leaf spots and defoliation.

8. Japanese Red Pine (Pinus densiflora)

Japanese Red Pine (Pinus densiflora)
Image: Etsy
Scientific NamePinus densiflora
Common NameJapanese Red Pine, Japanese Black Pine
FamilyPinaceae (pine family)
LightFull sun
SoilWell-drained soil
Height40-60 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree, windbreak, shade tree

The Japanese red pine stands out from afar with its orange-red bark and dark green needle-like leaves. Its bark naturally flakes off, revealing a reddish-brown inner bark. 

This tree is native to China, Japan and Korea and is used as a traditional medicine to treat diarrhea, cough and fever.

Japanese red pine trees thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. It’s the perfect choice for gardeners looking for an ornamental tree, windbreak or shade tree.

9. Sango Kaku (Acer plamatum ‘Sango-Kaku’)

Sango Kaku (Acer plamatum ‘Sango-Kaku’)
Image: E Gardens Go
Scientific NameAcer palmatum ‘Sango-Kaku’
Common NameBloodgood Japanese Maple, Sango-Kaku Maple
FamilyAceraceae (maple family)
LightFull sun
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height15-20 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree

The Sango Kaku tree has smooth, bright red stems, beautifully contrasted by its yellow leaves in the fall and tiny yellow blooms in the spring. 

It’s a cultivar of the Japanese maple tree and is native to Japan. When translated, “Sango Kaku” in Japanese means coral tower, pertaining to its yellow blooms and foliage.

This slow-growing tree loves moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. They take several years to mature, which means you can enjoy more of their compact, upright habit for a long time. 

We recommend using the Sango Kaki as an ornamental, bonsai, specimen tree, or hedge. However, be vigilant as they are susceptible to scales and aphids.

10. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) 
Image: McMakin
Scientific NameLagerstroemia indica
Common NameCrepe Myrtle, Crepe Flower
FamilyLythraceae (loosestrife family)
LightFull sun
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height20-30 feet
Growth RateFast-growing
MaintenanceMedium
Use/sOrnamental tree, hedge

The Crape Myrtle has showy trumpet-like flowers in white, purple, red and pink and a brown-red smooth bark. It got its name from how its flowers look like crepe paper.

This tree is indigenous to Australia and Asia and thrives in gardens or parks in warm climates. It grows fast, reaching a height between 20 to 30 feet, and in moist, well-drained soil and full sun. 

Crape Myrtle trees make excellent ornamental, specimen trees, hedges, screens or cut flowers. Be careful because they’re prone to powdery mildew, aphids and scale infestation. 

11. Marina Strawberry (Arbutus marina)

Marina Strawberry (Arbutus marina)
Image: The Minute Gardener
Scientific NameArbutus marina
Common NameMarina Strawberry, Strawberry Tree
FamilyEricaceae (heath family)
LightFull sun
SoilWell-drained soil
Height10-30 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree, edible treeEdible fruits

The Marina Strawberry tree has a reddish-brown bark that naturally peels off in thin sheets. It’s an indigenous tree from California and Oregon popularly grown in coastal areas. 

It has evergreen leaves with a leathery texture and produces edible strawberry-like fruits, hence its name. These red fruits are commonly consumed fresh or added to jams and jellies. 

They’re low maintenance and prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil. However, they are prone to developing root rot and scale infestation. 

Marina Strawberry trees are a great ornamental or specimen tree, as well as hedge or screen, adding a year-round interest in your garden. 

12. Lacebark Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)

Lacebark Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
Image: The Morton Arboretum
Scientific NameUlmus parvifolia
Common NameLacebark Elm
FamilyUlmaceae (elm family)
LightFull sun
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height50-70 feet
Growth RateMedium-growing
MaintenanceMedium
Use/sOrnamental tree, shade tree

The Lacebark elm tree has a distinct exfoliating bark with a mottled pattern that comes in shades of reddish-brown, gray, green and orange. This tree is native to China and grows well in temperate climates. 

It also produces tiny, oval-shaped leaves and yellow-green flowers in the spring. It’s a medium-sized tree, reaching 40 to 60 feet. 

The Lacebark elm thrives in full sun and moist, well-drained soil, although they’re susceptible to the Dutch elm diseases, so watch out for that. 

We recommend using them as an ornamental, specimen, bonsai or shade tree, and you’ll enjoy a year-round focal interest in your landscape.

13. Red Panda (Betula albosinensis)

Red Panda (Betula albosinensis)
Image: Future Forests
Scientific NameBetula albosinensis
Common NameRed Panda Birch
FamilyBetulaceae (birch family)
LightFull sun
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height30-60 feet
Growth RateFast-growing
MaintenanceMedium
Use/sOrnamental tree

Red Panda trees are famous for their reddish-brown bark that naturally peels off in thin sheets. This tree is indigenous to Japan and China, growing 30 to 60 feet tall.

They grow oval-shaped, serrated leaves and yellow-green flowers. They’re also typically found in gardens, parks and other landscape areas of temperate regions worldwide.

Red Panda trees love moist, well-drained soil and the full sun but are prone to the bronze birch borer. You can use them as an ornamental, specimen, shade, street, or bonsai tree.

14. Three-flowered maple (Acer triflorum)

Three-flowered maple (Acer triflorum)
Image: Heritage
Scientific NameAcer triflorum
Common NameThree-flowered Maple
FamilyAceraceae (maple family)
LightFull sun to partial shade
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height10-15 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental tree, hedge

The Three-Flowered maple tree has a smooth reddish-brown bark. It’s also known for its tiny trifoliate leaves and white flowers blooming in three clusters. 

This tree is native to North America and is typically grown in gardens, parks or other landscapes in temperate regions. It’s a slow-growing tree that thrives in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. 

The Three-Flowered Maple is a great ornamental, bonsai specimen tree or a garden hedge. Be vigilant for powdery mildew because this tree is prone to this plant disease.

15. Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Image: Van Den Berk
Scientific NameTsuga canadensis
Common NameEastern Hemlock, Canadian hemlock
FamilyPinaceae (pine family)
LightPartial shade to full shade
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height50-100 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental Tree

The eastern hemlock tree is known for its thin reddish-brown bark, soft, feathery needles and its drooping branches. They’re native to eastern North America and are grown in temperate regions. 

They prefer moist, well-drained soil and partial shade to full sun. Although it’s a slow-growing tree, don’t be complacent and protect it from hemlock woolly adelgid as it’s prone to this disease.

The eastern hemlock makes an awesome ornamental or specimen tree, a hedge or a windbreak, as it can provide that pop of color in your garden. 

16. Tatarian Dogwood (Cornus alba)

Tatarian Dogwood (Cornus alba)
Image: Gardenia
Scientific NameCornus alba
Common NameTatarian dogwood, Siberian dogwood
FamilyCornaceae (dogwood family)
LightFull sun
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height10-20 feet
Growth RateFast-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental Tree

The Tatarian dogwood tree is a shrub with striking scarlet red stems that will give your garden year-round touch of drama especially in Asian gardens. Although they’re native to Asia, they thrive in temperate climates. 

It got its name from its native region, Tatary, in Central Asia. This striking shrub makes a great ornamental specimen or bonsai tree and hedge or screens for gardens. 

They produce tiny white flowers and serrated leaves that complement their red stems. This fast-growing shrub can reach 10 to 20 feet tall and grows best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. 

17. Whiteleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos viscida)

Whiteleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos viscida)
Image: Dave’s Garden
Scientific NameArctostaphylos viscida
Common NameWhiteleaf manzanita
FamilyEricaceae (heath family)
LightFull sun
SoilWell-drained soil
Height6-10 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sEdible berries

The Whiteleaf Manzanita grows a twisting canopy of gnarled branches which are covered in a smooth, reddish brown bark. The barks peel away on some of these branches and reveal yellow, green or orange spots.

This tree is native to Oregon and California. They produce oval-shaped leathery leaves, tiny white flowers and edible red berries. 

The Whiteleaf Manzanita grows best in Mediterranean climates since it prefers full sun, well-drained soil and is a hardy to zones 7 to 9. It’s a versatile shrub that’s great as an ornamental specimen shrub, hedge, or ground cover in gardens. 

18. Redwood Tree (Sequoia sempervirens)

Redwood Tree (Sequoia sempervirens)
Image: Alan Majchrowicz Photography
Scientific NameSequoia sempervirens
Common NameRedwood, Coast redwood
FamilyCupressaceae (cypress family)
LightFull sun
SoilMoist, well-drained soil
Height300-379 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceLow
Use/sOrnamental Tree

Redwoods are one of the tallest trees on earth and they possess unique reddish brown barks. This tree can grow up to 380 feet tall and is native to coastal California and southwest Oregon. 

What’s great is that its red bark is not just for aesthetic purposes but they’re also thick enough to make the tree fire-resistant and help it survive wildfires. Redwoods are also a popular choice for landscaping and forest conservation activities.

Redwood trees prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil. They’re slow-growing trees and can take a hundred years before they fully mature. 

19. Madrone Tree (Arbutus menziesii)

Madrone Tree (Arbutus menziesii)
Image: Flickriver
Scientific NameArbutus menziesii
Common NameMadrona, madrone
FamilyEricaceae (heath family)
LightPartial shade to full sun
SoilWell-drained soil
Height20-80 feet
Growth RateSlow-growing
MaintenanceMedium
Use/sEdible fruits

Madrone trees are known for their naturally-peeling bark that reveals its orange-red underlayer. They also grow oval-shaped, leathery evergreen leaves, tiny white flowers and edible red berries. 

This versatile tree thrives in temperate climates and is indigenous to North America’s western coastal areas, such as British Columbia and California. It’s a slow-growing tree that grows best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. 

The Madrone tree is a good choice for gardeners looking for year-round interest plants or as a specimen tree, screen or hedge.

20. Water Apple Tree (Syzygium gratum)

Water Apple Tree (Syzygium gratum)
Image: Dreamstime
Scientific NameSyzygium gratum
Common NameWater apple, wax apple, Java apple, Semarang rose-apple, and wax jambu
FamilyMyrtaceae 
LightFull sun
SoilWell-drained soil
Height30-40 feet
Growth RateFast-growing
MaintenanceMedium
Use/sEdible fruits

Water apple is a tropical fruit tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. It has a coarse reddish-brown bark that supports its branches and typically grows between 15 to 20 feet tall. 

The tree produces shiny dark green leaves and white flowers in the spring. They also have spongy and sweet water apple fruits packed with fiber, vitamins, and antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Water apple trees are easy to care for since they are hardy and drought-tolerant. You can use them in your garden as a shade, specimen tree, or even a privacy screen.

FAQs on Landscaping Trees with Red Bark

What tree has a shiny red bark?


The paperbark maple tree has a shiny red bark that naturally peels in thin sheets. It is a medium-sized tree native to Japan and China.

What tree has camouflage-looking bark?


The camouflage oak tree has a light gray upper trunk and dark gray lower trunk that helps it blend with its surroundings. 

What is the reddest wood?


The padauk tree possesses the reddest wood in the world. It is a tropical tree native to Africa and is widely cultivated to make flooring and furniture.

Is Mahogany a red wood?


Mahogany is a reddish-brown wood that is strong, durable and decay-resistant. It comes from a tropical tree indigenous to Central and South America and is widely cultivated for timber, furniture and flooring. 

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