Trees with shaggy bark do a fantastic job of beautifying the environment; wherever they come up, whether naturally or by planting, they serve as a natural attraction and a source of shelter for insects and bird nest materials.

10 Trees With Shaggy Bark

Nature is lovely, and trees with shaggy barks are one of them. Some trees are the Shagbark Hickory, the American Sycamore, The Northern White Cedar, The Yellow Buckeye, and The River Birch; keep reading as we tell you all about them and even more.

List of Types of Trees with Shaggy Barks

Here is a list of trees with their descriptions:

– The Shagbark Hickory Tree 

The Shagbark hickory tree, also called Carya Ovata, is a tall deciduous tree commonly found in the eastern part of the United States of America and the southeast part of Canada. Its name, Shagbark hickory, is partly due to its bark, which faces outwards from its ends, making the bark look thicker. 

Regarding climate, Shagbark hickory thrives in places that receive a lot of sunlight and where the soil is well drained. However, their natural growth is slow, and it takes a good amount of time to grow to their full height.

Shagbark Hickory Tree 

The perfect place to grow a Shagbark hickory would be a park or any other place of recreation. It is a beautiful tree and would add to the area’s attractiveness while drawing in garden animals like squirrels because of the nuts it bears, which are delicious and surrounded by a green husk.

The Shagbark hickory is often used for wood as it is sturdy yet flexible. The wood of Carya Ovata is used to build wheels, furniture, and even specific flooring designs.

– The American Sycamore Tree 

American sycamore trees, also known as American plane trees, are usually found in the eastern and central parts of the United States, northeastern parts of Mexico, and Southern Ontario. 

American Sycamore Tree 

Although the bark isn’t as shaggy as its counterparts, the tree does shed off its bark as it isn’t able to adequately accommodate its growth which gives it a slightly shaggy look. It also results in a multicolored bark made up of the old and new parts of the tree.

American sycamore trees grow well in moist soil and require frequent irrigation if planted in hot and dry areas. With good growing conditions, they can reach over 175 feet in height. The leaves of this tree are comparatively larger, making it a good source of shade. The green leaves appear in May, turn brown, and fall off in autumn.

– The Northern White Cedar 

The Northern white cedar is a coniferous tree native to the eastern part of Canada and the north central and northeastern parts of the United States. The tree bark is thin and separates into long narrow strips that make it seem shaggy. In terms of climatic conditions, these trees thrive in slightly humid climates but have proved to be somewhat resilient in extreme conditions.

Northern White Cedar 

It requires organic and mineral soils and does well in swamps but does not thrive in very wet or dry sites. The tree leaves are thin and scaly, and the flowers can be classified as male and female. It has been called the tree of life due to its long lifespan, reaching almost 800 years.

The wood of the northern white cedar is light and soft and resists decay, making it helpful in constructing canoes, telephone lines, and shingles.

– The Yellow Buckeye 

The yellow buckeye is a deciduous tree mainly found in the Ohio Valley and the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern part of the United States. The bark of this tree exfoliates and peels off, giving it a shaggy look. These trees, along with drained and moist soils, require complete or partial sunlight to grow properly.

It is a magnificent tree, especially when it’s in full bloom and colorful, which makes it ideal for recreational areas that are supposed to draw in people naturally.

Yellow Buckeye 

The tree leaves are arranged on short stalks and change from dark green to orange in the fall season. Their yellow flowers appear on the tree during May.

The fruits of this tree are poisonous to humans unless detoxified by specific cooking methods that the Native Americans first used. They can cause nausea, diarrhea, and even death according to the degree of toxicity.


– The Red Maple Tree 

The red maple tree is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 70 feet in height and is found in large numbers in the eastern and central parts of North America. The tree’s bark splits as it grows to make room. It causes red maple to peel off outwards and get scalier and shaggier as the tree ages.

These trees are resilient and can survive in wet and dry conditions as their roots are adaptable.

Red Maple Tree 

They can grow in sunny or shady spots and add to the area’s attractiveness due to their bright red color.

It is a source of food for many members of the animal kingdom. To elaborate further, the seeds are eaten by squirrels and similar garden animals, while deer and rabbits feed the tender shoots and small leaves. Besides, maple syrup can be prepared from the tree sap and is a staple of popular breakfast dishes like pancakes and waffles.

– The Eastern Red Cedar 

The red cedar grows in the eastern parts of North America, ranging from southeastern parts of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and the east of the Great Plains. The bark of this tree is fibrous and soft, which means that it shreds off quickly in narrow strips.

These trees are very good at adapting to their environment and survive in most conditions. However, the ideal conditions for good growth would be complete or partial sunlight combined with moist alluvial soil well drained. 

This tree possesses medicinal properties and is used to treat bronchitis, joint pain, and fungal infections.

Eastern Red Cedar 

That being said, consuming excess amounts of these could be highly toxic to humans and cause convulsions and even death.

Eastern red cedars have also proven to be highly beneficial for the existence of wildlife. The thick branches provide shelter and safety for various birds and butterflies. The pieces of bark that peel off are used by small mammals to build a protective and strong base for their nest. 

The berries it bears serve as a primary food source for many birds and animals, while deer prefer to feast on the twigs of this tree.

– The River Birch

The river birch, also called the water birch, is mainly found in the eastern part of the United States, in states like New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Florida. In this particular tree, the bark peels off in a way that resembles paper pieces and gains a multicolored hue due to the old and new bark covering the tree trunk.

River birch trees thrive in places where they get full to partial sunlight and soil that is cool and moist, like swamplands and other wet environments.

River Birch Shade Tree

However, it requires a lot of water, and if it is planted in an area where it cannot naturally get water from the soil, it has to be watered for two to three hours every week.

The leaves of this tree are dark green-colored and have a streamlined shape with sharp edges. But they turn yellow in the fall, and flowers are classified as male and female. However, the leaves of the river birch tree are used to treat dysentery.

The buds are used as an ingredient in the concoction to soothe skin sores and treat ringworms. The bark is also used to cure stomach problems and provide relief.

– The Silver Maple 

The silver maple is considered native to the eastern and central parts of the United States and the southeastern part of Canada and can be found in large numbers. The tree’s bark flakes as it ages, making it look shaggy.

This tree grows best when provided with full sunlight and partial shade. It proliferates and can survive most growing conditions that its counterparts wouldn’t. The most suitable type of soil for this tree is moist and acidic.

Silver Maple Outdoor Bloom

The leaves of the tree are green on top and silvery white below while being shaped in the form of a V. the flowers of the silver maple appear in early spring and start as pinkish buds before blooming into flowers that are a mixture of green and yellow. The fruits of this tree are called samaras and grow in clusters.

Some animals and birds eat the seeds, and beavers and squirrels use the tree bark. Humans use the softwood obtained to build furniture, cabinets, and crates. It is also used for making paper and firewood, along with the widely used maple syrup.

– The Scots Pine 

The Scots pine is a species of pine that can be found in Europe and Asia. The bark of this tree is orange and red and appears thin and flaky, especially in the upper parts. However, it can adapt to most environments and has gained a reputation for being resilient.

This tree has evergreen leaves in the shape of needles arranged in pairs. They have a lifespan of about two to three years and are shed in the winter season at different times, ensuring that the tree is never completely bare. Both male and female flowers appear on the same tree, with female flowers appearing higher than their male counterparts.

Scots Pine Trees

Instead of fruits, the scots pine bears cones ripen at the end of two years. These cones contain seeds that get released once the cones crack open. 

Insects find a place to live in the fissures present in the bark, and the pine needles provide food for caterpillars, which act as a food source for wood ants. The existence of these insects further draws in birds and other small predatory animals looking for nourishment.

Humans have used wood to build parts of ships like the mast and currently use it to build furniture, boxes, fences, and make paper pulp.

– The Paper Birch 

The Paper birch is a species of birch found in the northern parts of northern America. It gets its name from its white creamy colored bark, which peels off in layers outwards and looks like paper. It does well in partial shade but will grow in full sunlight if the general climate is cool. Sandy and rocky soils that are slightly moist are perfect for this tree.

Paper Birch Tree

Being a birch, the tree will require a lot of water to survive. It will do well if planted in naturally moist soils, but if it is grown in drier soils, it has to be watered regularly to maintain the required water content. The leaves are dark green and sharp at the ends, appearing alternately along the stems.

The tree bears both male and female flowers called catkins which fall apart when they mature. In addition, the tree serves as a food source through its leaves, seeds, buds, and inner parts of the bark to deer, birds, and beavers.

This tree aids in producing paper pulp and making cheese boxes, firewood, furniture, flooring, paneling, and sawlogs. It also answers what kind of tree has white peeling bark.


Trees with peeling bark are aesthetically beautiful and vital to the ecosystem. You can identify them by their Strips of narrow pieces of bark peeled off, as well as the details of bark slope outwards.

Other well-known trees include shaggy bark juniper, yellow birch, and common bald cypress. They have many uses and are easy to grow and maintain as most of these trees can be grown from seed.

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