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Natural Poplar Bark

What kind of maintenance must be done on natural poplar bark?

Natural poplar bark requires very little maintenance over the long life of the product.  It does not require any coating or bug treatment.  In general and assuming proper installation, less than 10% of bark shakes will need replacement over a 30-year period.

How is natural poplar bark attached to the home?

Ring shank nails or colored exterior deck screws are the suggested methods of attachment.  Hardware length varies based on the thickness of the bark.  BarkClad recommends adhering bark shakes to rigid, plywood substrates.

Will the appearance of natural poplar bark change over time?

Natural poplar bark will naturally weather over time.  In full sun, natural bark will have a tendency to lighten.  In the shade, natural bark will have a tendency to darken.  Usually natural bark becomes more beautiful through this weathering process.

Can I paint or coat natural bark?

Natural bark is gritty on the surface, therefore coatings and paint do not adhere.  For customers who desire a painted bark texture, we suggest our exclusive SmartBark product.

Is there a specific installation that must be followed?

Yes.  Installation of natural poplar bark is crucial to ensuring your bark lasts for 30 years or more.  Correct moisture protection and attachment hardware must be used. Installation instructions are available in our install guide and can be downloaded here.

What are the benefits of natural poplar bark over SmartBark?

Every natural poplar bark shake is unique in color and texture.  This uniqueness, as much as we have strived to do so, can never be duplicated in an engineered panel.  Although SmartBark is exceptionally realistic, natural poplar bark will always be more “natural”.

Are any trees cut down for the production of natural poplar bark?

No.  BarkClad is committed to sourcing bark only from stands that are scheduled for harvesting.  Harvested trees typically have all bark stripped off and used for mulch or burned for fuel.  By peeling the bark off of the tree prior to the tree going to a mill, BarkClad is able to repurpose the bark for use as exterior cladding.


How long has SmartBark been used as an exterior cladding?

BarkClad has been exhaustively testing the SmartBark product in all types of environments for over 7 years with excellent results.  Residential sales began in 2011 and commercial sales began in 2013.

What kind of maintenance must be done on SmartBark?

BarkClad recommends spraying with a clear UV coating every 10 years to help maintain the original color of the shakes.

Is SmartBark cheaper than natural poplar bark?

Installation of SmartBark is where our customers will save an average of $2 per square foot over natural bark.  The VaporLock design of SmartBark reduces installation requirements therefore reducing installation costs.

What are the benefits of SmartBark over natural poplar bark?

SmartBark is for the customer who desires a truly maintenance-free bark cladding without sacrificing the look of traditional poplar bark siding.  SmartBark is warranted for 25 years, is fire resistant, carries an insulation value of 4.7 and will not bleach, darken, crack, curl or rot. Smartbark is paintable also.

General Questions

Is BarkClad and Bark House the same company?

Although the names are similar, BarkClad and Bark House are not the same company.  The primary difference between BarkClad and Bark House is our product offerings.  At BarkClad, we specialize in just bark, both natural and engineered, and we do it very well.

What makes BarkClad poplar bark “highest quality”?

At BarkClad, we take great pride in our bark because bark is all we do.  Over 90% of our bark comes from trees that were carefully hand-selected by experienced owners from stands scheduled for harvesting.  We process our bark in a timely fashion and kiln-dry our bark in a certified kiln to ensure perfect moisture content and flatness.  Specially designed saws are used to hand-cut every piece and each shake is inspected prior to being offered for sale.  Our attention to detail and old-fashioned commitment to excellence ensure that BarkClad truly does produce bark of the “highest quality”.