This is an elegant species of deciduous tree with characteristic white peeling bark. They can grow over 12m in height, making them a medium sized tree. The trunks are usually quite slender, with a rugged texture and slim, drooping branches. Young branches have deep purple-tinged bark and hang gracefully from the main branches. The tree has an upswept branch structure that weeps. Leaves are ovate in shape, coloured green and turning yellow in autumn. This plant is termed monoecious as it produces both male and female flowers on the same individual plant. These flowers are non-showy and yellow to cream-green in colour, they are either male or female and they are arranged in catkin structures, appearing in the spring.