Spring has sprung and with it the bark of some trees is beginning to loosen up. Last week, I took the bark off a chestnut oak and ran it through the chipper. The bark will be used to make a “tea” or “liquor” for tanning deerskins in and metamorphizing into leather. The kids seem to think it’s a lot of fun and something to do. I use both hemlock and chestnut oak for tanning deerskins. So far, hemlock bark peels much more easily than chestnut oak. From what I’ve read, what hemlock lacks chemically, oak makes up for and vice versa. We’ll see how it goes this year. 

Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association