Tree Bark

How do you harvest tree bark? What time of year yields the best result?

Wow, they will take some time to answer. To the present, I think it depends overall on species and reason for skinning. I know one species that when it turns thirty years young the bark works good for medicinal purpose or for edibility, I don’t remember exactly, however I know they harvested it a little time after it ages 30 years for something.
Good thread.

Also, I have to say via reading, listening, watching, and asking the neighbors (the trees) in the neighborhood I live.

Yes, but don’t ask the tree people around here 'cause they might not tell you the truth, they look all squirrelly and cute but they don’t like us, they just want our handouts.

Yeah, what are you doing with the bark, or do you know what specific species bark you need? All I know about is western red cedar really, and willow a wee bit. So I could help you out with those two, though Porcupine Palace has more extensive knowledge on the topic if you ask them.

I wonder about this as a food source. Seems like most evergreens have edible inner bark (except yew, cedar). Anyone harvested a significant amount? I tried inner bark of beech, and couldn’t eat more than a small portion size before my body said “no way”. White pine, apparently most popular, has more intense outer bark. Ponderosa has a nice butterscotch smell I’d love to taste. Adirondack means “bark eater”. And apparently in North Korea, starving people eat bark.

Is there a non-calorie-intensive way to get at pine inner bark? Without use of a chainsaw???

I’ve just cut large sections off and pulled. You can only do this with smaller pine trees, though, when the bark is still relatively smooth. Luckily, in most stands of pine there are plenty of these.

Harvesting tree barks is best done in the late spring/early summer in the pnw, when the sap is really up in the tree. I cut the bark at the edges of the piece i want to take and use my hatchet to pry the corners from the tree, then you can use your hand to seperate it from the tree. this is how i take hemlock, alder, cottonwood, pine, spruce, oak, maple, aspen, fir bark. most of these also have edible cambium in the late spring, so you get bark and a tasty treat. Cedar and juniper are different, you can cut at the bottom and pull out to peel off a tapering piece.

Late spring/early summer is the best time in most temperate areas, if harvesting for containers etc. I look for recently fallen branches of white pine after storms in the right season. That way I can harvest the smoother bark, but from older trees, and without worrying so much about exposing the tree to possible infection. That being said, obviously I would only employ this technique in a situation where I did not need a container at ant given time.