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  • Andrew Casey, ACF, RF

Peeling Poplar Bark

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Yellow poplar bark can be seen not only on trees, but also on the side of buildings. You will see poplar bark in Blowing Rock, Boone, and any number of towns in the mountains of North Carolina, and increasingly across the country. Using bark for building material is not a new concept. American Indians used bark on their huts and examples of buildings sided with American chestnut bark are still with us.

Michael Smith and Gary Church of Smith Brothers Logging make peeling bark look easy. They peel bark in the evenings after a long day of logging. The work is seasonal, possible for only about 2 months of the year when the sap is rising. Also, not every poplar tree is suitable for peeling. Some trees are just very difficult to peel and the bark on many trees is too thin. Bark must be a minimum of 3/4 inch thick for exterior use.

Keep an eye out for bark on buildings, it is a good thing!

If you need more information on unique forest products or other forest management advice: email us at or call the office at 336-838-5766.

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