Do you burn bark that’s fallen off of wood?

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,910
Winter WI
I have a lot of red oak bark that has fallen off my splits while I stacked 11 cords of it this summer and the bark is pretty substantial so I kept it and I’ll throw it in the hot stove this winter, some here some there to use it up But a friend of mine said he tosses bark that has fallen off of his splits bc it smokes. I figure my stove should burn the smoke if it’s good and hot shouldn’t it?
 

mrd1995

Member
Feb 21, 2020
120
North East, Pa
I have been throwing mine in a 55 gal drum and keep it under the wood shed roof, we have a full barrel of ash and willow bark and I actually like burning it the two species mentioned burns clean when DRY. Don't know if we will use it in the stove, very least we will be keeping it for the fire pit.
 
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Lakeside

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
535
Mike's World
Not a fan of bark -- what else is new- my firewood is 80% Blacklocust -- very heavy bark.

  1. Remove bark so wood dries faster
  2. No bark helps keep my house cleaner
  3. The only bark I will keep around is birch bark to start my top down fires with.
I like my firewood naked (barkless).
 
Feb 2, 2020
128
Madison, WI
I have a lot of red oak bark that has fallen off my splits while I stacked 11 cords of it this summer and the bark is pretty substantial so I kept it and I’ll throw it in the hot stove this winter, some here some there to use it up But a friend of mine said he tosses bark that has fallen off of his splits bc it smokes. I figure my stove should burn the smoke if it’s good and hot shouldn’t it?
I'm almost done splitting several cords of burr oak and I too have a small bark mountain that has formed underneath the splitter. I've tossed some of it into the fire pit just to see how it acts and it burns super fast despite it feeling like its fairly heavy stuff. I think once I get to the clean up stage the bark will be collected and stored to be used outside. The chunks of solid wood I also collect and that I will use indoors as fire starting material. Everything else gets raked and thrown into the compost heap!
 

Prof

Feeling the Heat
Oct 18, 2011
485
Western PA
I use it for kindling mostly. I don't go out of my way to gather it if I am splitting in the woods, but if it is near the house it goes in the stove. I don't burn full loads of it, but might be curious to see if there is a bunch of smoke. I'd imagine if the stove is already cranking, most of the smoke would combust.
 

buc74

Member
Oct 16, 2012
95
Fort Atkinson, WI
I mostly save it for the fire pit. But do also use it at times for starting fires in the stove.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
975
Palmyra, WI
Average ash content for the woods we use for firewood is around .6%
Ash content averages around 3% for the bark.
Last year I saved all of the ash from the stove, and it amounted to 3 bags full, around 120lb, for 4.5cord.
120lb / (3500lb/cord x 4.5cord) = .7%
I try not to burn bark. Woods here are red oak, cherry, locust, elm. All come in where either the bark is thin, or a lot of it has fallen off. Locust usually looses it's really thick bark after being down the second year. Oaks here are dying from wilt, so also losing their bark. Cherry bark is thin, elm is thin.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
when i process birch at my house, i save whatever doesn't get covered in dirt. the birch bark is an excellent fire starter. i've never saved any other bark though.
 

Lakeside

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
535
Mike's World
3% for the bark
You have made another very go point of why not too. I have heard about bark making alot of ash before. Good info to share. That's why we are here on this site.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,961
Eastern Ontario
Ash content averages around 3% for the bark
For the little bit of bark, I burn 3% is nothing in the big picture
Do you remove all the bark from what you burn? That would be to labour intensive for me
and the 5 cord I burn. To remove all the bark is just too anal-retentive for this old man !! :)
 
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ZZ Tom

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2014
107
SL,UT
www.garnerfoto.com
The only bark I burn is what doesn't fall off at some point in the process. I'll save the bark for use as mulch around my stacks as it works wonders to keep the weeds and mud down. I'll also use it as mulch in the garden areas.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
975
Palmyra, WI
For the little bit of bark, I burn 3% is nothing in the big picture
Do you remove all the bark from what you burn? That would be to labour intensive for me
and the 5 cord I burn. To remove all the bark is just too anal-retentive for this old man !! :)
No, I don't put much effort into pulling bark off. But if if falls off, I also don't gather it up to put in the stove. Your right, overall it's nothing compared to all the other wood. Cleaning out the ash drawer a little (a little) more often, that would be the only extra. But - if I had a truckload of bark to burn, and the result was 5 times the normal ash - that I could do without. Then I would need to dream of all kinds of contraptions to auger the ash out automagicly.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,126
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I certainly don't go through any effort to remove the bark . . . but if it falls off while drying in the outside stacks usually I'll just toss it down on the ground nearby to act as a mulch and keep the weeds/grass down. If it's white birch bark I may toss it aside to act as a fire starter though.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
As a doug fir burner we get lots of thick bark. It has slivers that get into tough skin. It smokes more than clean wood until it gets hot and then it burns really hot and clean. It does make more ash and is a little messier than straight wood.

It does burn well though and makes heat so I don't waste it. It gets burned mostly in the noncat that can flush it with extra air to keep it clean burning. Lots of heat, not much burn time.

I had the fire department called on me once for burning a bunch of bark in the firepit. It smoked like mad and the neighbors snitched. By the time the dire department showed up it was nothing but clear heat waves so they shook my hand and left.
 
Most of the bark that falls off of my wood does so while cutting and splitting it. I don't save it for burning, I just haul it to the woods and let nature take care of it. If it falls off when piled next to my stove, I will burn it usually on a weekend as I have to fill my stove before I leave for work and when I get home later in the day. It just does make it using solid wood, so when I have more time on the weekends to tend it, I will burn it off.