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peeling Bark off live tree?

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The bark-peeling tool thread reminded me of a question I have:

on a similar vein, but not entirely related...

Does anybody know the effects of peeling the bark off of a live tree?  I've been doing some reading and it appears that some of the folks that lived in Kentucky pre-Europeans used tree-bark as roofing and siding.  The archaeologist/historian/anthropologist/researcher (whatever) who wrote the pamphlet I read this in stated that the folks would ring the trees while they were still standing.  Does this kill a tree?  If not, how long does it take for it to regenerate its bark?  How much more likely is it to succumb to pests/disease?  How far back is it set back in its growth?  (1 year?  5 years?

Thank you!
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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       This is likely to kill any tree worth having. As penance for even thinking this you should not handle sharp objects for a few days . Hey why is that turnip truck backing up? And how did you get that bump in your head?
Forget this weirdo. You guys wanna see something really neat? I just have to take off my shoe .... (hint: it's a tiny ad)
Permaculture Voices 1, 2 and 3 - all 117 hours of video!
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