I’m a big fan of simple designs that fit the surroundings, which may be why I find siding made of bark so interesting. This style was quite popular in Appalachian mountain resorts at the turn of the century until the chestnut blight hit in the 1940s and the bark was no longer commercially available. A shame, too, because the bark siding was thick, rugged and gave buildings a rustic look. Now Highland Craftsman has reinvented this look using poplar bark, which is actually more durable than the original chestnut. The sample they sent me embodies the word “TOUGH.” When properly installed, bark siding can last over 75 years and resist some of the toughest weather conditions found in America, all without chemical additives. This is green building at its finest. The bark used in producing the siding is normally discarded in conventional timber harvesting but, in this case, is reclaimed for use. The bark siding is kiln dried, resists infestations and meets the most stringent building code standards for flammability. Another plus, with bark shingles, there is no need for paint. Yay! There is a limited season for harvesting and production of bark shingles so customers are encouraged to plan ahead. Contact information for Highland Craftsman can be found on their web site. You can also call 828-765-9010 to request a sample and brochure, pricing information or place an order.