At the farm, we cut about 500-600 red gum eucalyptus trees to replace them with fruit trees. (500 odd more trees will be cut in the near future).
The wood from the trees is being used for building but we are left with a huge volume of tree bark which was cleaned off before seasoning the wood.
This bark was stored for about 6 months during which it was allowed to soak in the rain and dry in the sun.
We have been using this bark for:
1. Mulching the pathways
It is a excellent choice for this purpose. It is thick, fibrous and soaks water. It keeps the pathway dry and feels good under your feet.
2. Mulching the trees
We had apprehensions of using it for the trees but after 6 months of rain/sun treatment, the acidic oils and tannins have gone out.
3. Fibre for cob
This was the most interesting discovery. We are replacing straw in cob with the fibre from the bark to add tensile strength to the mix. We are using this cob for the cow shed walls. The strands of the bark are seperated simply with hand and left to cure with the earth and cow dung for about a couple of days.