Cleaning Bark from Juniper Wood

Juniper Wood DryingAfter I bring the juniper wood back to my shop it’s time to unload and start the cleaning process.

A lot of people ask me, how long does it take to clean the wood?   Well, most of the branches take about 5 minutes each.  It depends on the size of the juniper wood and how much live wood there is,  Cleaning the bark off of a piece of juniper wood that was alive takes quite a bit longer than cleaning the other areas of the wood.

A juniper log that’s 12 feet long, 30″ at the big end, and 20″ at the small end can take up to an hour or more.  I always start the cleaning process shortly after I get back from wood hunting, if I don’t complete the cleaning that day then I finish it up the following day.

This step in the cleaning process has greatly reduced the amount of bugs that seem to always get into the wood.  Still, it seems like about 2% of the juniper wood I’ve cleaned will have a bug or two in it.

Removing Bark from Juniper Wood

Debarking Juniper Wood

The pressure washer that I use to clean the juniper wood is 3500 psi.   I took the factory nozzles or the nozzles that came with the pressure washer when you buy it new and tossed them.  I then put on a turbo nozzle, this nozzle spins the water thousands of times per minute and shoots the water out in machine gun like bursts.  These can be fairly expensive, anywhere from $75 to $130.  I bought a nozzle that’s rated a little bit above the psi rating of my pressure washer, I have found them to last a bit longer.

After I clean the branches, I stack them up in a tepee like formation and rinse them off.

removing bark from juniper wood

Debarking Juniper Wood

After cleaning the juniper branches and juniper logs they can be stored outside for several weeks.  If it’s summer time I don’t leave them outside that long because the sun will start to fade the colors of the juniper wood.