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poplar bark texture

When to Consider Natural Poplar Bark Siding

If you’re looking for an attractive, organic, and environmentally-friendly siding option for your home, natural poplar bark siding is an excellent choice. With vinyl, metal, and composite siding still being common and valid choices for some homeowners, natural bark siding is in a league of its own. 

Bark siding is the original home building material used by Native Americans for over 500 years. But what makes poplar bark siding such an excellent option for modern homeowners? Let’s take a look at why you may want to consider this sustainable siding for your home.

What Is Poplar Bark?

Crafted from the peeled bark of Tulip Poplar tress, Poplar bark siding is a natural bark siding option for exterior wall cladding. This bark was often considered to be a waste product for lumber yards in the past. But now, its true potential is being harnessed in the form of siding and wall tiles. 

The history of poplar bark being used for dwellings dates as far back as the 17th century, when bark siding was used primarily as a highly durable and waterproof material to keep dwellings safe and dry.

Today, poplar bark siding is available in 18″ and 24″ and is a beautiful addition to any structure. Use it for an accent wall in an office or bedroom, or as an elevated exterior for your home. This type of siding is extremely durable and virtually maintenance-free! It doesn’t require staining or chemical treatments and is resistant to harsh weather conditions and bugs.

Gary & Eustace Discussing Cedar Shingles and Poplar Bark Siding


Gary Campbell: Western Red Cedar is a great choice for natural beauty, for the decay-resistant properties. And it’s ideal for exterior use. Cedar Shingles, of course, can’t beat that. Nice wood shingles, you know a thing or two about wood shingles!

Eustace Conway: Oh yeah. I wish I had more of this around here. I’m just using what I have locally.

Well, what Reliance Timber carries is products that are kind of based on tradition, and that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years because it sort of interacts with the forest, the trees, the nature of the trees. It’s the stuff that makes sense!

Gary Campbell: As an alternative, we also do Poplar Bark Siding.  People use this for a lot of accents and Gables around Dormers, they’ll even do interior walls. They’ll do an accent wall inside the house with poplar bark.

Eustace Conway: This has been put in the press and dried. You guys have got it ready to put on a flat wall.

Gary Campbell: Exactly right, this poplar bark is kiln-dried.

Eustace Conway: As long as it’s standing straight like that, the water runs off of it just like it runs off a tree. This poplar bark holds up pretty well and protects the side of the house.

Gary Campbell: Many folks want to incorporate wood into their homes and that’s our job is to help them get there.

How Poplar Bark Siding Is Made

bark siding

The bark is peeled from the trees around mid-spring to mid-summer. Chainsaws and other tools are used to pry the bark from the tree. Sheets of bark are then graded for their looks and efficiency. 

Those that make the cut are flattened and dried in a kiln to reduce the moisture content. They’re then cut, stacked, and shipped to homeowners everywhere.

Why Choose Natural Bark Siding?

bark siding

Aside from looking incredible, natural bark siding comes with virtually none of the hang-ups that come with synthetic siding. Its long list of pros has made it a staple for years. Here are a few of the top reasons poplar bark siding could be for you:


Are you looking for an essentially maintenance-free material? Poplar bark siding will never need chemical treatments, sealing, painting, weather-proofing, or staining — it’s set to last as it is. 

This siding is naturally weather resistant, durable, and holds up to the elements, meaning you’ll have fewer chances of needing repairs down the line. And best of all, bark siding can last over fifty years, making it an incredible-looking investment that could last you a lifetime. 

Renewable Resource

The concept of a product being “natural” is all of the rage, but few have the merit of being truly natural the way poplar bark siding is. The bark is the protective covering for trees, so it’s a natural resource that’s biodegradable. It’s genuinely the eco-conscious homeowner’s dream resource

Since there’s no need to add chemicals or preservatives to keep the bark intact, you’ll also never have to worry about the treatments finding their way into the earth. The long-lasting nature of this siding also makes it eco-friendly, as you won’t have to replace it often like you may have to with other sidings.


Nobody likes pesky bugs in or on their home, and it’d be reasonable to expect that poplar bark siding would make this an issue. But poplar bark is resistant to many insects, including carpenter bees or termites. It makes sense: one of the many things bark does for the tree is protect it from being damaged by insects. 

And if any bugs were found during harvesting, they are all eradicated during the baking and drying process. So there’s no need for any bug treatments ever.

Energy Efficient

Poplar bark siding can save you money on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. The poplar bark is designed by nature itself for optimal energy efficiency. It helps insulate the trees it protects, and it will do the same for your home. 

A Captivating Look

Homeowners seeking a head-turning look for their homes will love poplar bark siding. Its appearance enhances the landscape and gives your home an attractive allure that you can’t recreate with synthetic materials. 

The elegant siding can be used for interior and exterior walls and is a great way to incorporate a feel of nature or earthiness into your home. 

Poplar Bark Siding Options

There are lots of options when it comes to ordering your poplar bark siding. Let’s break them down, one-by-one, so that you can ensure you wind up with the best option possible for your home or next project.

  1. Consider the thickness of your shingle. The thickness most likely depends on the application of your poplar bark siding. Where are you going to use it?

2. Although this is mostly a choice of aesthetics, consider what height you’d like for your poplar bark siding. Are you going for more of a horizontal look or square look? This is all personal preference.

3. If using poplar bark siding for you interior, make sure to take into the account the surface you are applying it to.

4. Decide upon what finish you’d like for your poplar bark shingles. Do you want to keep it natural or apply a clear finish?

If you are looking for more information about our timber products available, click here. We’d love to talk your through your next project.

Reliance Timber Can Answer Your Questions

If you are looking for more information about our Poplar bark siding and other available products, click here. We’d love to talk you through your next project.