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What tool(s) do you prefer for removing bark if tree is "green"

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Charlene Kravec, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Charlene Kravec

    Charlene Kravec Member

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    I have been working on some "green" Black Locust and have been using a short hand axe. Is there another tool that might make the job easier? Also have some Hack berry and Poplar that have very tight bark.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Charlene

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Draw knife for small pieces. Bark spud for larger logs. Sometimes stubborn bark calls for an adz.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Why are you wanting to remove the bark?
  4. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Draw knife on rotten sapwood or punk. A flat chisel on bark thats falling off. And a large gouge with wooden mallet for tight bark.
  5. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Not sure why you would want to waste the time, seems like a lot of extra work I don't have any interest in doing!
    BillLion likes this.
  6. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I was assuming this bark removal was for purposes other than firewood.

    Wood carving, tool handles, fence posts, rails, poles, furniture, etc.
  7. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Wow. Too much needless work. Locust bark falls off as it seasons.
    Give it a few years in the stack.
  8. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Why are you removing the bark?
  9. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Everyone is getting carved Santa Clauses for Christmas.
    ailanthus likes this.
  10. Charlene Kravec

    Charlene Kravec Member

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    We live in a very damp part of the country that receives very little wind. I found that the wood we put up last year (Aug. 2012) still isn't dry enough for burning. Specifically the Poplar, Hackberry and Cherry still showing 20%+ moisture.
  11. Charlene Kravec

    Charlene Kravec Member

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    We have only been burning wood for a year and don't have enough extra to let sit yet. Three trees on our property were felled last year and CSS. That yield was approx 2.5 cord. The Elm out of the last year's batch is ready this for this year's heat. Last week our neighbor has offered us the dead fall or previously cut wood on his property. So we are mobilizing ourselves (crew of two). Last year we had to purchase what we used. Trying to get up to speed. Sorry for the rambling message.
  12. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Nah, you're not rambling. It helped to explain why you asked about bark removal.

    It sounds like you are accumulating wood scores to get your seasoned wood supply on schedule. Keep up the good work!
    PapaDave likes this.
  13. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    How cold does it get in Tennessee?
    I thought you might be going after dead standing.
    Ive done it and oak is the only species, well maybe locust and cypress, that you can salvage solid burnable wood out of what looks beyond bothering with.
    Scraping rotten punky sapwood is time consuming. I know thats what the guys are thinking.
    Elm and Chestnut oak is what I get and sometimes black cherry. I have a theory that dead standing oak takes less than 3 years to season.
    But the solid wood...hmm...I dont know.
  14. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    This might be a really dumb question, but would it be easier to just split them smaller?

    if I have time to mess around on the woodpile I'll knock some of the bark off of maple splits I bring in (it practically falls off anyway). Trying to do same on large old yellow birch isn't worth the effort. I'd be there for a week. Smaller splits will dry out much faster (might also burn faster, but that's a reasonable trade-off).
    ailanthus and Backwoods Savage like this.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Charlene, there are many who live in very damp areas like yours and still are able to dry their wood. So this begs the question, how do you handle your wood? For example, for us, we cut the wood to length in the winter months and just sort of stack it. After snow melt or in March or April, we then do the splitting. Stacking comes immediately after splitting. We then forget about the wood until usually early December and then we top cover it. In your area, I would say to top cover it immediately after stacking. In addition, make sure you get that wood off the ground. I would not be afraid to get it at least 6" off the ground which will give air circulation under the wood. Don't try to stack it high because you want to stack it a bit loose. In other words, don't go for the really pretty tight packed wood stacks. Stack it a bit loose to allow the air to move through. Stack it in the windiest spot you can find on your place. Sun is good too but wind is your best friend. This type of wood handling never fails. However, in addition to this, we usually try to have all our wood 3 years or more in the stacks before burning. This has many great benefits. For sure if you want to burn oak, you do need 3 years in the stack. Other woods you can get by with less but 3 years will still make wood super to burn and you'll find that you actually burn less wood this way.
  16. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I am convinced that the bark on my firewood significantly slows down the seasoning process. I can go out any time and find that between the bark and wood there is moisture, even on days when barkless wood is quite dry on the outside.

    I find that time loosens the bark on most live-cut, thick-barked trees. For example, a White Oak came down in my yard this summer, and after a month or two the bark on rounds peeled off easily. So, I decided to wait until the bark loosened up, peeled each round, then split. Peeling the bark was quite easy if the timing was right. If I tried to peel a round too soon, it was much more difficult and probably not worth the effort.

    I used an ax to peel the bark.
  17. Charlene Kravec

    Charlene Kravec Member

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    To answer Applesister, we get temps in the teens in the middle of winter because we live on the lower elevation of English Mountain on a hill where ours is a 10 degree difference from those in the valley. We are surrounded by 80+ ft trees. We have been given some dead standing and some previously felled as well. Also, we will be obtaining some sassafras (dead standing) which will be a new wood for us.
    Backwoods Savage, we have been CSS almost as soon as we get it. The rounds may sit on the ground for a short while until we can get to it. The mistake we made last year was stacking large splits. It seems that smaller splits are the way to go here. We got some nice oak last year which we've tried to keep aside to age in the stack. We haven't tested all of last year's stacks yet. Have tested the oldest first.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  18. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    I used to avoid breaking up many of the large splits fearing that only way to get a decent long burn was to shove a couple of massive splits in the stove. That can work great, but it's not an absolute. I do keep some bigger splits on the stack, especially the really nasty uglies that I would spent a week trying to break apart . But over time I'm learning that I can really tune the burn based on how full and / or tight I pack the stove, how I arrange the splits, etc.

    Not saying I knock any of them down to kindling size, or that split size makes no difference. But as time passes, I'm worrying less about using up a bit more firewood, and / or getting a bit shorter burn. Seems to me (unless it's my imagination) that the big splits that I break in half again dry months sooner than the ones I leave alone.
  19. Charlene Kravec

    Charlene Kravec Member

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    Thanks, BOH. This is part of the learning curve for us. I have been trying to pack the insert so that the wood can "breathe". A couple of times this season I didn't pay proper attention to loading it and it was definitely not giving us the heat it should have. Big difference when I loaded it properly!
  20. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    No problem - I see it as a bit of an art, a never ending learning experience, and I believe along the way everyone finds their groove in their own place. The one constant is that this (forum) is a great place to be hanging out.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Charlene, you will find the sassafras has the most pleasant odor! My favorite. For heating it is not the best but works well in spring/fall or even daytime in winter. Expect some sparks to fly when burning.

    One more thing on the sassafras is that if you get some small ones, they make great poles to lay down and stack the wood on top as they do not rot as quickly as other types of wood.
    Missouri Frontier likes this.
  22. Charlene Kravec

    Charlene Kravec Member

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    Backwoods, thanks for the info on the sassafras. The tree we'll be taking isn't very tall and we will keep in mind that the poles are good for stacking wood. If it's one thing I've learned is that stacks tend to multiply (a lot like bureaucrats).
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  23. NextEndeavor

    NextEndeavor Burning Hunk

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    Black Locust Bark Removal-r.jpg This thread turned up while just searching around. I burn a lot of well seasoned black locust. It doesn't have the appealing smell of oak or hickory but after running through the EPA secondary burn, really isn't too bad. The BTUs are pretty good. The bark often nearly falls off when handling. Seems most of the weird smell is right under the bark so I go ahead and knock it off with this knife. It ignites a little better without the bark and ashes seem less also. Removing bark from green splits or rounds would have to be nearly impossible compared to after a couple years of seasoning.
  24. bigbarf48

    bigbarf48 Minister of Fire

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    Nice 119 ;)

    I find that poplar and oak bark comes of pretty easy after a while in the stacks, but I still don't bother with it
  25. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    time. if it falls off during transfer to being burned I compost it; if not I burn it.
    BillLion likes this.

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