I took my first weekend trip to Martha Younkin's land with a group to go over the basics of processing Cedar bark. Starting off she took us through her property to explore. Martha is the one in the blue jean shirt.
After we found the trees that were ready to be cut down (Martha picked them out), we started the process by rubbing most of the outer bark off. The most outer layer has no grain or structure so it falls and peel off as you work it anyways.
Next we dragged a hook knife down, letting the grain guide us. It might twist around the tree if it is younger. Lastly we peeled it off being careful of the knots and any tearing. It is sticky and can be prickly, so watch out.
Here we are in the middle of a group demonstration on splitting the bark laterally to make it thinner.
Martha has an amazing collection of barks and grasses that she has processed and stored. Yucca (the middle photo) is my favorite because it is so fine, almost like horse hair. I believed she keep it in water for three weeks before beating it.