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Thread: how do you remove bark from trees

  1. #1

    Default how do you remove bark from trees

    I want to have a go at making a bark container, but when i try to remove the bark from the tree, it splits or cracks. How can i prevent this from happening, or is there a technique to it all that just comes with practice.

  2. #2

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    Assuming that you a trying to gather bark from a living tree you've just missed out on your chance for bark harvesting I'm afraid.During the Spring and early Summer sap flows beneath the bark which makes it easy to take off but now in the Autumn it will be very difficult.What type of tree are you trying to collect the bark from?
    Is it living or dead?

  3. #3
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    What sort of trees are you trying?Ive found willow and birch to be the easiest,sometimes cherry...The tool you need is called a 'spud'.Basically a piece thin piece of wood with a chisel shaped end.

  4. #4
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    Although not a good time for removing bark at the mo. Winter brings the possibility of making things like walking sticks with the bark left on.

    Less sap = less shrinkage, splitting and warping for any carving projects.

    I plan to make a hazel walking stick this way quite soon.

  5. #5
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    sometimes while doing dutch elm disease controle work we need to remove a whole trunk of its bark. by far the easiest way to remove it is to smack the hell out of it with a mall or hammer, then it just falls off. im sure if you pound the bark a little more gently with something softer it would loosen it without damaging it.

    pete

  6. #6

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    a fallen birch tree is where im trying to harvest the bark from, i have tried to cut a square piece out but it wouldn't seperate from the tree and just ends up splitting, i will give it another go by the method that pete suggested by hitting it to loosen the bark, i will also try to use a 'spud' as well.

    any other suggestions?

  7. #7
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    Hot water and pounding will loosen it.

  8. #8

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    make a lead-in grove all the way around , insert paracord and pull to and fro as you also pull down (or up)



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bert333 View Post
    make a lead-in grove all the way around , insert paracord and pull to and fro as you also pull down (or up)
    Hi Bert. Not heard of this one before. Do you have any pictures of you doing this? Cheers George

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by agiles10 View Post
    I want to have a go at making a bark container, but when i try to remove the bark from the tree, it splits or cracks. How can i prevent this from happening, or is there a technique to it all that just comes with practice.
    You're wasting your time at this time of year. You need to wait till the saps up in late April or May, at least that's how it is here abouts.

    I gather ash, wych elm and willow until about the end of July but then after this, it becomes increasingly difficult to remove in usable sheets.

    If you want to harvest birch bark, you're best bet is to find a sizable dead fall and use that. smaller birch tend to have thin bark, which is not that good for craft work.

    Below is a selection of containers made from the barks mentioned:


    The large bucket is made from a combination of ash and wych elm with wych elm bark cord handle and whipping. The taller one is ash bark, sealed with spruce resin/charcoal mix and a carrying cord from honeysuckle bark. The smaller birch bark containers are made from comparatively thick ( for the UK) 2.5-3mm bark harvested from a very large fallen birch down by the river.

    you DO need to make a spud for peeling bark of decent thickness, nothing flashy, just a flatish 20-25mm wide X 4-5mm thick chisel shaped tool. it doesn't want to be sharp, better to be rounded edged if that makes sense?

    Anyway, good luck.

    R.B.
    Often Out,standing In A Field

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seoras View Post
    Hi Bert. Not heard of this one before. Do you have any pictures of you doing this? Cheers George
    sorry George not possible to hold camera when doing this.
    Basically the paracord is the 'saw'
    a little loosening at first helps, but fine paracord (single strand ) with cut through, downwards is easier as u can use your body weight so to speak.



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