Chopped down a small tree that recently died and began shedding bark due to what appears to be fire blight. I'd like to use the stock for a project once dried, but a significant section is stained almost black. I've tried household bleach on a small section and it's marginally effective. Any other ideas?


  • It's probably a molecular change to the wood structure. Not sure if you can do much about it, unfortunately :-/
    – grfrazee
    Mar 3, 2016 at 22:22
  • 1
    How deep is the Discoloration? A crosscut section might reveal much of the older wood is still good. Use a mask when working with the infected wood.
    – Ashlar
    Mar 4, 2016 at 1:16
  • In various spots, it's 1/4 - 3/8" deep. I'd love to embrace the blackened change, unfortunately fire blight 'chars' the wood such that some of the affected areas crumble as if having been in a camp fire. Those sections I'll cut out of course. Additional research led me to Wood Kote Lite-N-Up 2 part bleach. Will post results.
    – JReads
    Mar 4, 2016 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


There are multiple types of "wood bleach", which invariably use one or more common bleaching agents. They can be used to bleach wood in specific ways (e.g. removing native colour or dark staining from iron) but I suspect this might be a permanent colour change and nothing at all will change it, just as in the black lines in spalted wood.

Personally I would embrace the change in the affected wood and value it for being nearly black.... people can go to great efforts to get wood black!

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