Home Improvement Questions? Ask a Handyman for Answers
Hi. Ideally, removing it when the wood is still green get the best softer feeling. For that you need to peel the bark and you use a knife just to start the peeling section. I am not aware of a special knife for this. For big trunk i use what is called a "spud" but i found that a spoon can work well for small trees/limb. If you don't care about the sily smooth natural surface under the bark and you can go with sanding it to similar texture, you could use a spokeshave.
Steam will damage the wood, so if you use it, you will need a very hot steam for very short time and then you should be able to peel them like tomatoes.