The stem of Aloidendron dichotomum may develop some undulations along its smooth-textured bark. Sharp-edged breaks between large, mostly vertical patches appear like a relief map of dramatic terrain.
The texture may appear papery but is hard, almost metallic; Coates Palgrave speaks of melting wax. Old stem wounds persist, retaining a traumatic aspect, the closing of bark over injury possibly not a big priority in this arid climate.
Upper branches are pearly grey and smooth. The base of the stem bulges slightly immediately above ground level, a bit like the foot of an elephant (Reynolds, 1974; Coates Palgrave, 2002).