What Do Sawmills Do with Bark?

Sawmills create lumber from logs, but nowadays, they do more than that. Sawmills in the Northeast turn out amazing boards of hardwoods such as oak, cherry, maple and birch, as well as white pine and use them for molding, trim, furniture, flooring, paneling and several other products where looks are important. However, in the process of making those amazing boards, there are a lot of not-so-amazing results are also created. 

So, what do sawmills do with bark?

The bark is sold for landscaping mulch. The sawdust is sold to farmers to use as bedding. Planer shavings from pine mills that plane their lumber sell the shavings to people with horses for bedding. Chucks from the first cut-off debarked logs are put through a chipper with the edges and other castoffs. Then the chips are sent to companies to make paper.

The key to sawmills being prosperous is finding markets for sawdust, bark and slabs, which all used to be considered waste. Mill owners have the mindset that they need to be resourceful to turn a five-foot board into six feet worth of product.

The main part of the working forest substructure is the sawmills. Their enduring capability is critical for preserving the forest-based budget that is imperative to the rural areas of the Northeast. The mills have figured out ways to make it work, from getting together with wood-fired power plants to discovering specific markets for speciality wood.

What happens to sawmill waste and off-cuts?

Sawmill wastes and off-cuts are typically completed at factories such as sawmills and plywood mills. The waste that was produced can vary from one kind of industry to another, contingent on the method of the completed product and raw material.

Different Types of Sawmill Waste

The sawmill waste is determined by the kind of saw, workers’ skill, the diameter of the logs, and the condition of the product mandatory. Commonly, sawmill waste from wood industries like veneer, plywood and saw millings and others are off-cuts, sawdust, shavings and trims.

Sawdust comes into being from edging, re-sawing, cutting, and sizing, while shavings and trims are the results of smoothing the wood and trimming it.

Sawmill Wastes Uses

Wood waste is not recycled by every wood industry, especially the smaller scale industries. The cuttings and off-cuts are used as fuel for the process of drying wood, or they are sold. However, sawdust and bark are typically burned.

Waste use of logs are typically prepared in modern and larger establishments; however, it is usually used only to produce steam for the drying process. The machine-driven energy needed for pressing, cutting, shaving and sawing is provided by diesel-producing electricity and/or a set grid. The electricity required for this industry is significantly high.

Primary and secondary wood waste or deposit is the remains after the timber comes to a mill for processing. This deposit is arranged for application as it is typically uniform, low in moisture, on-site and clean. Some examples are black liquor, bark and sawdust. Deposits from wood that is processed can be used to yield electricity and heat or indirectly to yield bio-based products like pellets or char. 

As of now, forest product industries within the U.S. have been highly successful in using these materials to fuel the mill’s main manufacturing or other bio-based manufacture procedures. Sawmills can make enough waste to surpass their own energy that is required. The extra energy is now available to sell to local power grids at modest prices. Below are descriptions of some wood processing deposits that are typically obtainable and may be used for bioproducts and bioenergy. 

Wood Processing Deposits

Bark, black liquor and sawdust are wood processing deposits related to logging deposits.

Black Liquor

This is a castoff by-product that forms while pulping wood in the industry of making paper. Precisely, it is the material remaining after cellulose fibres are detached to form paper strands. It contains water, lignin and other chemicals used in the process of extraction. Black liquor is recycled and retrieved through gasification or combustion in gasifiers or boilers on site. This results in carbon dioxide, recoverable chemicals and heat energy. It is a significant liquid fuel for the paper and pulp industries. 


When a log is cut using a saw to create lumber, sawdust is the wood deposit that forms. Mostly, sawdust, as it initiates, is green. It is not dry and relatively even in shape and size. Wood flour is a common name for sawdust. This specifies that the elements can get through a 20- mesh gauge screen. What is unfortunate is green sawdust uses are limited. Green sawdust can be used for smoking meats and heating domestically in certain sawdust furnaces, but it is rare. Also, it has many needed qualities, which makes it a prevalent material for fiber compound engineering. It is coarse, porous, rubbery, large, grainy and nonconducting. Many products can be produced from sawdust when this process is used, such as packaging, bedding, insulation and abrasives.


The bark is the furthest part of woody branches and stems. It is approximately nine to fifteen percent of the log’s size. Archaeologically, the bark was used to produce medicinal products, tannins, flavorings, dyes and resins. The soil can become contaminated during the harvesting process, which makes it can be hard to use. But as the operation methods get better, more chemical extracts become obtainable commercially. Typically, the bark is used as a source of fuel, soil modification or for mulching. Due to its wood conduct of heat, which is less than wood, it is useful for building materials like particle board, insulation and fiber. It is still in the early stages of the chemical use of bark. This is because of the cost of the amount of material, storage and transportation.


The main and subordinate residues deliberated here are worthwhile bio-based resources. They are requested and highly sought after for energy. They are key for use because of their comparatively low content of moisture, on-site location, cleanliness and consistency. In the south, using these residues can make ecological and financial sense in many situations.