There is nothing quite so wonderful as the colors of smooth bark at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (we will deal with deeply furrowed bark another day). Without leaves and flowers to distract, bark can be the central focus of a winter outing. Here are twelve of my favorites in the digital equivalent of a crazy quilt of bark. So bundle up and get out there!

examples of smooth and colorful bark photographed by Ned Friedman

Zelkova sinica, Chinese zelkova (288-80*A)

Halesia tetraptera var. monticola, mountain silverbell (274-96*A)

Ulmus parvifolia, Chinese elm (1353-73*B)

Pinus bungeana, lacebark pine (663-49*C)

Stewartia monadelpha, tall stewartia (653-74*B)

Cornus sericea, red osier dogwood (175-2005*B)

Styphnolobium japonicum ‘Pendula’, Japanese pagoda tree (493-67*A)

Betula jacquemontii, Himalayan birch (74-94*A)

Acer griseum, paperbark maple (767-94*C)

Stewartia pseudocamellia, Japanese or Korean stewartia (11440*B; collected by Ernest Henry Wilson and turning 100 years old this year!)

Acer rufinerve, redvein snakebark maple (381-2008*A)