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They might be as big as your head, or four feet in diameter, sometimes more. Burls will grow on skinny year-old specimens or giants of great girth. Sometimes adventitious buds will even sprout from them. The wood grain inside of a burl is something special. It has been prized for centuries by craftsmen who use thin sheets of it as decorative veneer on cabinetry and in detailed inlay work.

More recently, wood turners fashion beautiful bowls from burls using a lathe. Some will even make table tops from thick slabs of large burls.

What Is a Burl? | Wonderopolis

They can make a beautiful, highly decorative piece without effort of carving or inlay. However, the unexpected twists of the grain can also cause unexpected splitting, or reveal rot and knots.

Burls can lower the timber value of a tree, but in the right hands and in the right market, they can actually increase its total monetary value. In fact, burl poaching has become a problem in the giant redwood forests of the west coast. Redwoods can be prolific burl producers, with large knobs near the base.

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Hacking off huge swaths of wood along with the growing cambium layer and protective bark is like downing an elephant to hack off tusks. It dooms the individual tree and further, because the redwood burls often contain unsprouted bud tissue, it can eliminate growth of potential future trees.

Be sure to keep your eyes on the woods during your winter walks. Flying Squirrely! About Police Submit a tip Contact the Police: Accessibility Increase contrast Users with low vision can activate this option to help them read text.

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Burl hunters look for bulbous growths near the roots, or sometimes on the branches of a tree. Generally, there is little solid wood within these rounded growths. Leaving some wood on either side of the burl can make it more valuable to potential buyers who may have specific requirements for how to slice the wood.

Depending on the tree species and target use, your end user may have a preference for slabs or blocks.

What Is a Burl?

Burls from certain trees such as cherry, ash, redwood, walnut and maple, tend to be highly valued compared to other species like oak that are more likely to contain holes or rot. Five thousand acres of timberlands represent a strong future for local communities and endangered species near Mt.

Shasta, Calif. Timber Products Company takes pride in supporting local communities.

Whether we are sponsoring an employee golf tournament or helping young people make smart career choices, we are committed to helping local families thrive. Burl Hunting - Inside the Interesting Hobby.