Bark leachate is generated from sawmill operations such as log storage sites and contains polymeric tannins, carbohydrates, organic acids, phenolic and resin compounds. The present study was aimed at assessing the performance of a sequential anaerobic and aerobic treatment, for both chemical oxygen demand (COD) and phenol removal, under various combinations of operational conditions, in the continuous mode. After anaerobic treatment in a five litres upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactor, the leachate was directed into two parallel aerobic reactors, either an activated sludge unit or a fixed film submerged filter (packed with polyethylene Flexirings), both of a volume of one litre and oxygenated by air diffusion. For a leachate of 22 gCOD/l, an overall COD removal of 96-98% was achieved at an hydraulic residence time (HRT) of 4 days for the anaerobic reactor and one day for either aerobic systems. The phenol concentration generally increased after anaerobic treatment but was below the detection limit (50 ppb) after aerobic polishing. Radiorespirometric microcosms with 14C-labelled phenol confirmed that phenol was mineralized in the aerobic reactors. The performances of both aerobic systems were similar for COD and phenol removal. Thus, a sequential anaerobic/aerobic treatment was able to effectively address the contamination of a bark leachate discharge, including phenols.