The single, erect stem of Ormocarpum trichocarpum has a thick covering of pale grey bark that may become darker with age. The texture of the bark is corky, fissuring longitudinally in patches to display some reddish lower layers. Young branches may be white from a hairy indumentum.
The small fruit pods are straight and densely covered in yellow or brown, bristly hairs. This brings the resemblance to fat little caterpillars for which the tree was named the hairy caterpillar-pod (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).