With the change to base harvesting amounts and burn times bark is now as valuable as steel. To help with this you can get a tanner, and a Tanner III or IV certainly goes a long way to ease those woes, however drying racks are still a black hole for bark and usually lead to mass deforestation, and large amounts of lumber being simply destroyed. To help this, I’d propose the following item for mid to late-game:
Tool: Adze (Adz)
Level unlocked: 45ish
Materials: 15 steel bars, 4 shaped wood
Crafted at the Blacksmith’s Bench
This tool is efficient at harvesting bark from trees. When used on a tree that will normally yield bark, bark is granted every swing at 2x the normal gather rate. No wood or branches are harvested. The tree will be cut down after the same amount of strikes as if an axe, pick, or pickaxe was used upon it.
1 tier of tool, as there would not need to be much reason for a hardened or starmetal variant.