For woodcrafting purposes, find someone who makes things from birch bark and ask for a demonstration on how to remove the strips you need. It also allows the tree to grow faster. Removal of birch bark, when done correctly, does not kill or greatly harm a tree. Or, a technique which involves removal / peeling of a ring of bark from a tree, and the phloem layer (Like shown in the picture above). When peeling bark on trees is limited to the south or southwest side of the tree and bare wood is exposed, the problem may be sunscald [sic] or frost damage. 1. If you did it wrong, the tree will most likely die. Yes, that’s it, this kills a tree. Traditional harvesting by Upper Midwestern Native American artisans is in late spring and early summer. It's a good idea to learn birch bark removal from an experienced person. If done properly, the outer bark will begin to grow back almost black. And it’s slow death. In both trees and humans, the outer layer is constantly replaced with new growth. This type of shedding affects the health and lifespan of the tree, and wider areas of exposed wood make it more likely that the tree will die. It exfoliates the tree, which allows it to photosynthesise better Birch can do this through their bark. When peeling bark on trees is limited to the south or southwest side of the tree and bare wood is exposed, the problem may be sunscald or frost damage. In most cases, there is no cause for concern. A tree which gets girdled dies gradually in about a year or more. Birch Bark and Its many Uses. That's normal. It is important to keep in mind that removing the inner layer of bark from any live tree can do irreversible harm to that tree. The following considerations should be taken into account when harvesting birch bark. When to Harvest . Birch gets away with this, because they normally grow where water is plentiful and liquid. All trees shed bark, just as humans shed their skin. But if they go deeper, or all the way around the tree then it will do one of two things, open the tree up to disease or insects, or in the case of all around the trunk it will "girdle" the tree and kill it. Bark does not have to be harvested from live trees. It is understandable why people would become concerned when they see the bark peeling from the birch trees they have so lovingly cared for. Peeling tree bark is sometimes due to environmental factors. Removing the inner layer prevents the flow of sap, which will eventually kill the tree if enough bark is removed. You should always look for downed birch trees from which to harvest the bark before cutting into a live tree. You can remove quite a lot, but only if you do it properly. 2. If you remove the inner bark, you'll kill the tree. Because of the remarkable preservative properties of birch bark, it can be harvested from dead or fallen trees. If they are just peeling off one layer at a time and it comes off in paper like flakes then the tree should be alright.
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