You will want to remove the bark prior to using the wood for smoking since the bark on most woods does tend to yield a bitter flavor. However, I wouldn't remove any bark until the wood can be identified. And I would identify the wood prior to cooking with it (that's me!). The bark, wood grain, color and odor can all be used to help identify the type of tree it came from. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a way I can help you identify species of the NET. A library book, book store or local lumber jack may be of more help.