Maple burl

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Forum topic by Greg Spencer posted 07-03-2011 09:00 PM 1462 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Greg Spencer

14 posts in 3386 days

07-03-2011 09:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple burl

I have several huge maples across the front of my property, that are actually growing in the county road easement. They’re about on their last legs and the county will probably take them down one of these days. One of them has a huge burl growing on the side of it, probably 18” in diameter and it sticks out about a foot or so. I’d love to saw it off and do something with it, but have no idea how to preserve or cure it once I remove it from the tree. Any suggestions?

-- "If you're so damned smart, why ain't you rich..?"

3 replies so far

View McKinneyMike's profile


80 posts in 2928 days

#1 posted 07-03-2011 10:08 PM

Just seal the cut edges with Anchor-Seal and then decide how to cut it up from there. I would cut it into turning blanks. It will only hold figure on the part that was outside of the diameter of the trunk. So no need to cut into the trunk. The best burls will be fully encompassing around a tree trunk. These will often go deeper into the trunk itself or often the trunk is a mass of burl, which is the very best burl IME. The “burl caps”, which you are describing will primarily be burled only in the part that outside of the circumference of the tree trunk itself. Still some value, but don’t expect it to be worth a lot. Use it yourself if you are a wood turner or sell it to some local wood turners. $1.00/lbs would be fair price.

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

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Greg Spencer

14 posts in 3386 days

#2 posted 07-04-2011 11:01 PM

Thanks, Mike. I was thinking of using it to hand carve a small bowl for the mantle. Just worried it will get all checked or split before I get around to it. I have a sneaking feeling that the old maples are not long for this world.

-- "If you're so damned smart, why ain't you rich..?"

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3225 days

#3 posted 07-05-2011 05:52 PM

I have sawn plenty of maple burls here in Oregon, and have a different look at it. They often are generated early in the trees life, especially the bigger ones, and can easily reach the heart of the tree. I have sold them to very happy turners at $10 a board foot, which is close to $3.50 a pound wet. They don’t often crack or split as they have no real “grain pattern”; the wood grows in all directions, making them lightly or non-stressed. But one thing. I do collect wood from trees as you are seeking to do, it is a great resource; but don’t just take them, please. Contact the county road department and make sure it is okay. Here they contract such tree removals to the highest bidder, who then has the opportunity to do what they wish with the wood (since the bid includes all costs and benefits). Nabbing the burls is theft, and puts a bad light on all of us. It is possible, if not likely, that the county will give you a permit to legally take them. If not, and a contractor gets the job, the contractor is likely to sell you a permit to collect the burls really cheap, maybe for a turning or carving. Best of luck!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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