Sassafrass. You may know this famous native tree as “the mitten tree” for the distinct mitten-shaped leaf –one of three leaf types which can all be found on the same tree. But enough about leaves! It’s the winter, and there is plenty to appreciate about Sassafrass bark. These trees begin their life with a shrub-like strategy, growing up in thin, green-gold stalks. Their stalks are yummy deer snacks all winter long. The mature bark is a reddish dark brown. Sassafrass can propagate from existing roots, meaning that a stand of sassafrass trees in close proximity may be one big organism.