White Bark Trees in Arizona

How rare are trees with white bark?

Why do some trees have white bark instead of brown?

Why might you want to choose one of these trees for your landscaping needs?

Trees with white bark are not exactly rare, but they are not common, either. It’s much more common to find trees with brown bark, but there are plenty of species and varieties of trees out there that feature beautiful white bark as well.

White bark is an adaptation that some trees have developed over many generations. This adaptation makes it easier for them to handle being grown in locations with bright, full sunlight and lots of heat. In other words, having white bark makes trees more likely to grow well in locations that have a desert, subtropical, or tropical climate.

If you’re looking for a stunning tree to plant in your lawn or garden, a white bark tree may be the best solution for you. These trees can provide a beautiful centerpiece that draws the attention of the viewer right to their unique white bark, and they also match well with other complementing plants.

In the article below, you’ll find out more information about some of the most common white bark trees you can find in Arizona. Many of these are native to the area, and all of them grow well in climates that can be found throughout the state, too.

Read on to find out about some of the best choices for white bark trees in Arizona.

1. Arizona Sycamore Tree

Scientific name: Platanus wrightii

The Arizona sycamore tree has bright white bark that is smooth on the surface. It may also have large gray patches throughout the bark, and it grows bright to dark green leaves. It features a full canopy and provides plenty of shade when fully grown. This plant needs plenty of water and must be watered deeply down to the roots in times of drought.


  • Easy to grow when starting bare root or in a container as long as it has three feet of dirt for its roots
  • Cold hardy down to temperatures as low as -8 degrees Fahrenheit


  • Difficult to care for in regions that don’t get very much rain

2. Evergreen Elm Tree

Scientific name: Ulmus parvifolia

This small but sturdy tree features a white trunk that branches out near the top of its growth. It forms several smaller branches that are filled with bright green to yellow-green leaves. The canopy of this tree grows in very full, making it another good option for a shade tree in many yards. This tree needs to be planted in bright, full sunlight and requires plenty of soil depth for its roots. This tree needs to be watered deeply, but doesn’t require nearly as much water as some others listed here.


  • Easy to care for during a drought because it doesn’t need frequent watering
  • Small enough that it remains easy to prune and trim as needed


  • Not very cold hardy and can only withstand temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit

3. Ghost Gum Tree

Scientific name: Corymbia aparrerinja

This stunning tree has a windswept, desert tree appearance and features a much leaner canopy than some of the others we’ve already discussed. Its foliage grows in long, drooping collecitons of dark green leaves which form on the ends of its branches. The tree has a bright white trunk that is fairly smooth to the touch, and it branches out in several locations, rather than forming one main canopy like some other kinds of trees. This tree needs to be kept in bright, full sunlight.


  • Ideal for growth in true desert conditions
  • Can grow anywhere from 20 to 50 feet in height, depending on the way it’s cared for and its environment


  • Not cold hardy and needs to be kept above freezing as much as possible

4. Himalayan Birch Tree

Scientific name: Betula utilis

This lovely little tree remains small and thin, but still grows a thick canopy when provided the right conditions for growth. It features a white trunk that has bark which sometimes peels off in long sheets. It branches off near the top of its growth and creates its canopy, which is full of bright green leaves. This tree needs to be kept in a well-draining soil and must be watered as much as possible, as it prefers nearly constant moisture. It prefers cooler temperatures and should not be grown in climates that exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a couple of days.


  • This tree can grow up to 40 feet in height when it is cared for properly and given time to reach its full maturity
  • The tree provides a good amount of shade for use in home and garden landscaping


  • This tree is difficult to care for in any location that sees much drought, since it requires so much moisture

5. Palo Blanco

Scientific name: Mariosousa heterophylla

This popular Arizona tree is easy to find in many desert climates. It has white to gray bark and a thin trunk, and it begins branching off into its canopy much closer to the ground than some of the others listed here. It features long, drooping strands of bright green leaves, making it look a little bit like a weeping willow. This tree provides a lot of shade. It needs to be kept in partial to full sunlight and also likes reflected heat, and it is best to keep this tree in well-draining soil.


  • Needs only low water maintenance because it is a desert plant, so it is easy to grow in a variety of desert climates and locations
  • Small enough to fit well in many residential gardens and lawns with regular pruning


  • Not cold hardy and should be kept only in locations that do not drop below the freezing point at night


Did you find out everything you want to know about the white bark trees you can choose from in Arizona? These trees all provide something slightly different to their landscapes, but they are all excellent choices if you’re looking for a desert-hardy tree with a lot of aesthetic appeal.

But are these trees more complicated to care for than other types of trees? Here are a few tips for caring for your white bark trees and keeping their bark looking great:

  • Provide the right growing conditions. Understand that these trees are adapted for growth in the sun, so they need to have access to plenty of sunlight and warmth to grow properly.
  • Pay attention to pests. Many types of white bark trees, especially birch trees, are prone to insect infestations. If you think you may have a problem with insects in your area, try some preventative insecticides—but remember to only use all-natural ones for the safety of the environment surrounding you.
  • Use mulch. Compost or wood chips are great options for your white bark trees, and they don’t add anything dangerous to the environment, either.

With the help of this information, you should be able to care for your tree and help it grow and flourish, too. Keep these tips in mind to make your white bark tree experience even better!