Should You Debark Firewood?

Debarking firewood is the process of removing bark from logs to make them more attractive and easier to handle.

A common question among firewood owners, “should I debark my firewood?” There are many different opinions on this subject. Some say it’s best not to and others say it depends on the wood species and their own personal preference.

Debarking firewood is usually not necessary for most people since the majority of firewood ends up in a fireplace, but it can be helpful when stacking wood on an outdoor rack or if you are selling your product.

With that said though, debarking firewood is also necessary if they have bark that will cause them to rot quickly.

If there is no bark then most people don’t bother with debarking as the bark provides extra insulation from cold weather and pests like insects or rodents which would provide easy access through an un-debarked log. However, if logs are covered in sap or resin then it is more of a personal preference.

Some people are repulsed by the sticky sap making it difficult to work with, especially if logs are cut into firewood lengths.

How to debark firewood

There are several ways to debark firewood which can be done before or after splitting wood.

One way is that you can use a drawknife to remove the bark from a small section. This method is very time consuming and should only be used to debark a few logs at a time.

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Another way people try to debark firewood is by using a chain saw. While this does make quick work of the job, it also damages the logs which can affect their value or grade as firewood.

Tools for debarking wood

There are two types of debarking tools: hand-held knives and stationary blades. The former type has limited use while the latter requires more work on your part because you will need power tools like chainsaws or circular saws that remove excess material after cutting through the tree trunk’s bark layer. 

For novices to wood working, it is usually recommended that you use stationary blades for this task because they have fewer safety risks associated with them than other methods do. If you’re interested in stationary blades then you can find them in different shapes or sizes at your local hardware store.

For larger logs, you will want to use a sawmill where several stationary blades are used to reduce logs into smaller pieces of firewood. They are highly efficient and make short work out of debarking logs.

However, if you are using hand-held knives then it is best to use the drawknife method because it will allow for more control and precision when removing bark.

Alternativeky, you can purchase saws with hand-held blades that work great on firewood logs since they remove less wood than the powered versions do. By keeping the blade perpendicular and keeping your hand and arm behind it while sawing, you should be able to avoid any accidents.

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Debarking firewood can be done pretty quickly if you use a chainsaw to cut into the bark of the tree before splitting logs. It may take longer to de-bark wood with a drawknife but since it’s a safer way to debark logs at home, you’ll have more peace of mind.

With a little extra effort and safety in mind, you can remove bark from their wood for a nice smooth finish without worrying too much about damaging the wood.

Is burning bark bad?

While burning bark can be bad for your fire, it’s not as harmful as you might think. The trick is to burn the bark in small chunks at a low enough temperature that it won’t cause too much damage.

If you do this, then burning bark should pose no serious issue to your fireplace area.

Creosote comes from burning unseasoned wood at low temperatures. This means that it’s more likely to come from burning wet wood or thin pieces of kindling than anything else.

However, if your wood is thicker than 1″ then you should be fine.

Most firewood suppliers debark their firewood before selling it because it makes it easier to use and transport.

Bark contains moisture which helps protect the wood from the elements. So when you burn unseasoned wood with the bark, it creates creosote which can cause soot.

While this is not dangerous, it is still an inconvenience since you have to clean your fireplace more often because of soot buildup.