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ron61's picture

Burl Wood (post #79199)

Can someone tell me about Burls?


 Do they Grow in my area OK. Mo. AR.


Do they grow on just certain species of trees?


What type of conditions do they grow best - bottom land ?


Where on the tree do they grow at the base?


What makes them grow?


How do you harvest and air dry them ?


I have notice serval Cherry trees with like  black looking wrinkly bulges on them is this a burl starting ? Some look to be in the branches also- Smaller tress about 6 in. dia.


Thanks Ron 


Who Ever Has The Biggest Pile Of Tools When You Die Wins

 

 

boro73's picture

(post #79199, reply #1 of 1)

Ron,


Directly from Bruce Hoadleys book "Identifying Wood." (A definite authority on wood) 


"Burls are large knoblike projections formed on the trunks or limbs of trees; their precise cause is not known. The abnormal wood tissue within them is extremely disoriented and typically contains numerous bud formations. Burls develop in virtually every species; only in a few instances are the surfaces of burl wood distinctive enough to aid in identification. Because of the severely disorientated structure of the wood, it is difficult to recognize cell structure and features when the wood is sectioned and examined microscopically." 


I've personally found them on most trees in my region, upstate New York; pines, hemlocks, cherries, maples, beech, birch, eastern hophornbeam, oak, ash, butternut, walnut, hickory, locust, and poplar. Fall is burl hunting season and spring is harvest season. As with any sort tree harvesting, its best to cut in the late winter before the sap starts flowing. This is a time when trees are at their driest and lightest point. I personally dont recommend lopping of random burls. Most of the time they are given to me or I'll receive permission to cut. Spread the word of your interest and you'll typically find a response like "a what? (describe burl) "oh yeah, sure, I've got tons of em' on my property. help yourself." 


Once the burl is removed from the tree its best to melt some paraffin wax in an old pot. With an old brush apply a healthy amount on the exposed surface (dont forget to also cover the tree where it came from). Now you must wait several years for it to properly dry. An even better way to harvest is to drop the entire tree leaving the burl intact, then let it dry.


Hope this helps


Dave