Traditionally, molecular studies of plant species have used leaves as the source of DNA. However, sampling leaves from tall tree species can be quite difficult and expensive. We developed a sequence of procedures for using stem bark as a source of DNA from Leguminosae trees of the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado. Leguminosae is an important species-rich family in these two highly diverse and endangered biomes. A modified CTAB protocol for DNA isolation is described, and details of the procedures for sampling and storage of the bark are given.