Properties of 200 poorly debarked softwood logs were studied in order to examine how different log characteristics affect drum debarking of mixed pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst] pulpwood during the summer. The definition of a poorly debarked log and the sampling criterion was that >10 dm2 bark remained on the log surface. The average share of poorly debarked logs was 8% and the most frequent log type was breakage logs. The main species among the poorly debarked logs was spruce and the mean wood moisture content was considerably lower than for the pulpwood chips. Many logs were affected by root rot or were damaged by harvesting equipment, resulting in reduced moisture content and, consequently, in increased bark/wood shear strength. Bark from the poorly debarked logs contributed to approximately 68% of the bark content in the chips. By avoiding air-drying of pulpwood, or by sorting pulpwood prior to debarking, the bark content in chips might be substantially reduced, which would improve the purity of the pulp and decrease production costs.