How to Remove Bark from a Tree Stump (6 Steps Solution)

Once you are done with felling a tree, all that remains is a tree stump. And for many of the users, that’s nothing but an idle piece of wood. But for some of us, it can be the stairway something as beautiful as a tree stump tea table, tree stump carving, tree stump rolling, etc. 

In case you have the plan to make something out fo the tree stump, it’s essential that you take proper step to uproot tree stump base with a tree stump extractor, and make it polished and usable. And one of the very first steps of doing so is, removing the bark from the stump

So, the question of the moment is- how to remove bark from a tree stump? Here in this article, we’ve got a complete solution to remove bark from the tree stump.

Tools You Will Need Throughout the Process

how to remove bark from tree stump

As you are done with felling a tree, tree stump bark removal is a big task. As we have said before, taking barks out of a tree stump is something that you can not do in bare hands. You will be needing a number of tools that we’re enlisting here in this step-

In the case of the fourth and fifth tools, you are advised to keep a set where it contains a number of size variations. This will help you out to pick up the right tool for the right job. 

Once you are done managing the tools, let’s proceed towards the steps- 

6 Steps of How to Remove Bark From a Tree Stump

Here, we’ll take you through the main steps of bark stump removal that you’ve been waiting for. As long as you’re not interested to preserve tree stumps with bark, let’s proceed-

Step 1: Let the Stump Dry Out First

Tree barks are quite thick and are heavily attached to the stump section of the tree. To remove those heavy barks out, you have to do a lot of work when the tree is at a ‘green’ stage. This step can be done by either uprooting the stump and transporting it anywhere or just on the spot where it is. 

To make things easier, you have to dry out the stump first and let the bark on a tree stump loosen up a bit. This time can be anything from two weeks to a couple of months, based on which kind of tree we are dealing with.

Once you are sure that the barks had started to loosen themselves up, it’s time to step forward to the next step. 

Step 2: Plane the Surface with A Planer

Planer is a powerful tool that is used to make surfaces plain and smooth. And that’s an essential part of the process, as we’ve to smoothen the perimeter of the stump up in the first place. 

Take the planer, and power it up. Now run the planer around the perimeter in a top to bottom manner. 

After you are done with smoothening the perimeter, take a wet cloth or a brush to take out the dust and saw debris. 

Step 3: Do As Much As Your Hands Can Do

As we have stated before, a dried-up tree stump will have some loosen-up barks. So, you can take that off with bare hands. For a smooth bark tree stump, the work is even easier. 

Do as much of the removal work as possible. It will make further processes easier. Once done, move to the next step. 

Step 4: Remove the Barks with A Prybar And A Hammer

Now, take the prybar, and insert it between the barks and the stump. After that, take the hammer and apply strikes on the prybar with the hammer. 

This process will loosen up the barks and take those off the stump. Once you are done with one section, repeat the process for the next section. Once you are done with doing that through all over the perimeter, and the tree stump will be almost free of the bark. 

At the end of this stage, you’ll see a tree stump that is almost free of barks. 

Step 5: Finish It Up with the Chisels

Now, it’s time to finish the work. Still, there would be some places over the perimeter of the tree stump where there will be barks. 

Take a properly sized, sharp chisel and hit them off with the help of a hammer. This will eventually, take off that loose and small pieces of barks that are still clinging to the stump. 

However, you need to have a set of chisels where there is a number of size variations for this job. Those different chisels will help you out to work more precisely without damaging the stump so much.

While you are doing this step, make sure that the chosen is placed at around 175 degrees with the vertical surface. This will ensure that you debark tree stump without any damage. 

Step 6: Sand It Up

Now, it’s the last step, where you need to smoothen up the stump perimeter and make sure that there are no pieces of barks left. 

Take the proper grit paper with an appropriate rating, and make sure that it suits the wood type. Now, start sanding the perimeter of the bark and make sure that it’s left smooth. If you want, you can use the sander at this step.

Once done, we’re completely over with the process of how to remove bark from a tree trunk. Now, take essential actions on how to preserve a log and move forward to the next steps that you have in mind to convert it into furniture. 

Extra Tip

If you’re really short on time then there’s a way to boost up the drying process. Yeah, there’s only one safe way to do this. You might find several ways to do this but most of those will result in a cracked stump.

So, the only way to fast up this process is by using a wood kiln.

If you don’t know how to preserve a tree stump then we’ve got a tip for you. You can use a wood sealant product to seal make the stump even more durable. However, look up the proper way to use that on YouTube.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: How long does it take to dry out a tree stump?

Ans: Naturally it takes around 6 months to dry out a tree stump completely.

Q: Is it better to grind a stump or remove it?

Ans: Stump grinding vs removal has always been a topic to debate among woodworkers. Grinding is an efficient method comparing to removal. However, grinding leave the roots behind. A large stump produces a large chip pile. And you can use the chips as mulches for other plans in your landscape.

Bottom Line

Alright, so, we’re done with the process of how to remove bark from a tree stump. Hopefully, the whole guide had been easy to follow for you, and you don’t have any point of doubt at any step. 

In case you are not professional with woodworking, you should take enough time to figure out which size of chosen, prybar, grit paper will be perfect for the job.

If possible, consult with a professional woodworker, and then step into the process. 

Kevin Smith

1 thought on “How to Remove Bark from a Tree Stump (6 Steps Solution)”

  1. I’ve taken a tree stump from the ground, including a large portion of its root system. I intend on turning it upside down to make an interesting potted plant holder. But I’d like to “polish” it up a bit. I’d like to keep some of the bark, but also clean it up some and seal it.
    What do you think would be the best way to do this?

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