The birch trees are shedding their bark

Today I lugged some ladders over toward the west hedge to free the peeling bark off a birch tree, which I could see from the window of my bedroom/office.

After I secured the ladder so that it wouldn’t fall and take me over the fence into the neighbour’s yard, I freed the pieces of bark and dropped them on the ground.

This was not a good idea, as it turned out, since there was snow on the ground and I didn’t want my precious bark to get wet.

So, I climbed down, marched through the snow back into the house and looked for a basket with a handle I could carry with me up onto the ladder. My mom briefly looked up from her lego assembling, so I announced my intentions:

“If I’m not coming back in here in the next five minutes, better come looking for me, I may have fallen off the ladder.”

She didn’t say anything. She’s used to me doing quirky things and having multiple minor accidents along the way.

The ladder propped against the hedge was just out of reach, so I had to lug my ass back into the garage and get the longer ladder. This was was a bit less stable propped against the hedge (the tree was behind the hedge and near the fence of the next door neighbour)… but I managed somehow.

I climbed that ladder about six times for four different trees, and also bent over to pick up the pieces the trees shed themselves. I’ll admit it was a pretty good full-body workout. 😀

The basket wasn’t large and I filled it about four times before I quit. I glanced at the much bigger birch trees in the front yard and figures they can wait. Too cold to stay out any longer…

There is now a huge pile of birch bark on the floor in the TV room at my mom’s house. These four boxes will be photographed and listed on Etsy by mid week. 🙂

Birch bark at Boldly Chic Boutique on Etsy

Did you know people buy birch bark for crafting?

I sold quite a few piles of bark last year, and I know now the bigger pieces are in high demand. I listed one batch today, the one in the picture below. You can check it out here.

Note: there’s a video in the link that shows you how rigid, or thin, the bark pieces are.

click here to shop my store

Customer satisfaction lessons

I learned some lessons about sending birch bark to people. I had one customer last year who needed a large piece. She selected one of a batch I had, and purchased it. I sent it in a large, padded envelop and rolled the end part into its natural curve in order to make it fit.

When she received it she messaged me through the app that she didn’t receive the large piece and demanded a refund. She sounded a little aggressive in her tone and that spooked me a bit.

Still, I went to my bark area of my shop and checked my photos in my phone; I always take pictures of the packaging before and after just in case someone has a complaint.

As I verified that I did in fact send the requested piece, she messaged me back and said she found it, but the edge part broke off. She also said she was very disappointed, she needed that long piece for a special project.

I felt bad that she was unhappy with her order, and looked through my batch to see if I had another one I could send her free of charge, to replace the broken one, or I could give her a partial refund (there were other pieces in the batch she ordered which she was happy with). She opted for the extra piece and I ended up sending her three. She left me a nice review in return.

However, I am now keenly aware that people expect items to be as they see it in the online store, despite the fact that birch bark is a natural product and in itself quite brittle. I adjusted my packaging to using a box for future shipments despite the fact that this will increase shipping costs.

In the end, all worked out well and I received more hits on my bark in my store. There were two American customers, a local Canadian one, and one from down under (Australia).

Why people buy birch bark

What do people use it for? Well, the options are limitless and so is the creativity!

One of my customers used the bark with school children who were building toy canoes. I saw one Etsy creator design jewelry out of bark (earrings, and bracelets). There are people who do full moon rituals with sage leaves and, yes, birch bark pieces, believe it or not. I found this out through my tarot journey.

Heal my Heart mini gift bags on Boldly Chic Boutique

I decided to use birch bark in my Heal my Heart mini gift bags, two (so far) which I have listed on Etsy just in time for that challenging Valentine’s day so many people don’t look forward to. Many people don’t like this holiday, and I even talked about this on one of my tarot readings on TikTok… (excuse the grainy video, it was bedtime and I was already in bed ha…)

I was inspired to create these Heal my Heart mini gift bags for some of my followers who were unlucky in love, or dreading the approach of Valentine’s day with all its commercial expectations.

Have a look:

I placed a small piece of birch bark in the tiny bottle along with a little note describing the amazing properties of the birch trees, selected a tiny tarot card and wrote out a description of its meaning, and designed some simple healing crystal jewelry carefully selecting beads which are meant to help with healing through love or grief.

More to come.

As always, thank you for stopping by my blog today and reading all my words!


6 thoughts on “The birch trees are shedding their bark

  1. Love the little bags. You could be on to something there… maybe do them fur special occasions as well. Birthdays, weddings etc?
    And I know crafters love birch bark, I have a wonderfully painted heron on a large square piece hanging on my wall. Imagine it must be hell to pack for shipping though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How handy to have your own supply right outside the door! How often does the bark peel off? Birch isn’t a native tree here, at least I never see them in the lowlands unless they have been planted but I don’t know about the mountains. I do think they are beautiful though.

    Liked by 1 person

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