Viper, it's a personal choice ,I don't but if you can't get the piece to flame it will smolder and smoke white stuff.Pre-heat the wood on top of your firebox , this will help ignition
Keep a small, hot fire and control heat with the air intake.Leave the exhaust wide open.
I use all fruit wood and nut tree wood, the fruit is a great flavor enhancer.Cherry on Ribs is the Bomb,Hickory on Butts and Brisket and so on. The bark could ,if you have a smallish Pit,take too long to burn and make the smoke white,remember Thin Blue Smoke!
Have fun and...