Aloes that have been put into the Tree aloe section have a distinctive tree shape which is uncommon in the Aloe genus as most Aloes do not have a trunk with side branches. Leaves on tree aloes form rosettes and the dead leaves are not peristent.
Tree aloes have three distinctive geographic distribution areas in southern Africa. Aloe pillansii, Aloe dichotoma and Aloe ramossima are found in the northwestern part of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. A. plicatilis is found in the south-western Cape and Aloe barberae is found in the sub-tropical eastern and south-eastern parts of South Africa extending into Mocambique.