You will need to strip the birch tree of its bark in order to use the wood for crafting or other purposes. This can be done with a few simple tools and some patience.
First, you will need to choose the right tool for the job. A utility knife or a draw knife will work well. You will also need something to prop up the birch tree while you work, such as a log or a block of wood.
Next, start at the base of the tree and slowly work your way up, shaving off thin strips of bark with your chosen tool. Be careful not to cut too deeply into the wood underneath. Continue until you have removed all of the bark from the tree.
Once all of the bark is removed, you can then begin working with the wood itself. If it is still wet from sap, you may want to let it dry out before using it for anything else. Otherwise, it is ready to be used however you see fit!
Find a Birch Tree
Birch trees (Betula spp.) are popular landscaping trees because of their elegant, paper-like bark that peels off in sheets or curls. You can strip the bark from a living birch tree, but it’s best to wait until the tree is at least 6 inches in diameter and 10 years old. The process is similar to stripping a willow tree (Salix spp.), but birch bark is much thinner and more fragile.
Before you begin, put on gloves and long sleeves to protect your skin from the sharp edges of the birch bark. Cut a V-shaped notch into the trunk of the birch tree with a saw about 2 feet above ground level. This will be your starting point for stripping the bark.
Insert the blade of a spade or garden shovel into the notch and twist it back and forth to loosen the Bark. Use your hands to peel back one edge of loosened Bark, then grip it with both hands and pull it away from the trunk in one smooth motion. Continue stripping Bark from around the entire circumference of the trunk until you reach ground level.
The newly exposed wood will be bright white, but don’t worry – this is normal! Within a few weeks, weathering will cause it to turn brownish-black like the rest of the trunk.
Hold an Axe
1. An axe is a tool that has been used for centuries to strip bark from trees. The process is simple, but it requires some skill and practice to get the perfect results. Here’s how to strip birch bark with an axe:
2. Start by finding a straight-grained piece of birch. The grain should be running vertically up and down the tree trunk. Avoid any branches or knots, as these can make the stripping process more difficult.
3. Place the blade of the axe against the top of the birch trunk, making sure that the edge is lined up with the grain of the wood.
4. Apply pressure to the handle of the axe, driving the blade into the wood. Continue applying pressure until the blade is buried about halfway into the trunk.
5. For left-handed people: Grip the handle of the axe with your left hand and place your right hand on the head of the axe just behind the blade. Use your right hand to push down on the head while you pull up on the handle with your left hand, using both hands together to pry out a section of bark. For right-handed people: Grip the handle of the axe with your right hand and place the left hand on the head of the axe just behind the blade. Use the left hand to push down on the head while you pull up on the handle with your right hand, using both hands together to pry out a section of bark.
6. An alternative method for both left- and right-handed people: Place the tip of the blade on the right side of the tree (if you’re left handed) or on the left side of the tree (if you’re right handed). Use the middle finger of your opposite hand to hold on to a large section of the sharpened edge, while using your index finger and smaller fingers to grip lower down on the handle for additional leverage (see illustration). Place the thumb behind the disk attached to the bottom of the axe head for added safety against slipping (see illustration).
7. Using either method described in step 4, carefully strip away a bark section that is 2 to 4 inches wide by 12 to 18 inches long-or longer if you have good leverage and are strong enough-working your way down the length of the tree.
Strip the Bark with the Axe
How to Strip the Bark of a Birch Tree with an Axe
If you’re planning on stripping the bark from a birch tree, you’ll need to take some care in order to avoid damaging the tree. Here’s how to strip the bark from a birch tree using an axe:
1. First, find a straight section of trunk on the birch tree that’s large enough to comfortably swing your axe. Avoid any sections with knots or branch stubs, as these can damage your axe or cause injury.
2. Place your axe at a 45-degree angle to the trunk and swing it forcefully downwards, following through with your swing so that the blade strikes squarely against the wood. Repeat this process several times until you’ve cut through the first layer of bark.
3. Use your hands or a sharp knife to peel back this first layer of bark. You may find it helpful to score along the edges of this layer before peeling it back, as this will make it easier to remove without tearing. Continue cutting and peeling back layers of bark until you reach the innermost layer (the cambium). Be careful not tear or damage this innermost layer, as doing so can harm the tree’s ability to grow new bark.
Chop down the Stripped Birch Log
Chop down the Stripped Birch Log. This is how you do it:
First, find a stripped birch log. They are most commonly found in taiga and snowy biomes. When you have found one, start by chopping it down with an axe. Once the log is down, use your hands or a knife to strip the bark off. Be careful not to damage the wood underneath. Once the bark is off, you can use the log for crafting or construction purposes.
Pick up the Stripped Birch Log
If you’re looking to strip a birch log, there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, find a suitable work space – a level surface that’s large enough to comfortably accommodate the log. Next, gather your supplies: a saw (a chainsaw or handsaw will work), gloves, and eye protection.
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to get started. Begin by cutting the log into manageable pieces – we recommend starting with logs that are no longer than 4 feet in length. Once the log is cut into pieces, it’s time to start stripping off the bark.
For smaller logs, you can use your hands to peel away the bark; for larger ones, you’ll need to use the saw. Be careful as you work; stripping birch bark can be dangerous if not done properly. Use caution and always wear gloves and eye protection when working with any type of saw.
After the bark is removed, take a look at your logs – they should now be smooth and free of any rough edges or splinters. If everything looks good, congrats! You’ve successfully stripped a birch log!