We discussed a few blog posts back, about the beauty of wood faults and blemishes. I cannot stress enough how gorgeous these are.
Burls in wood are oft time looked at as something horrible, unless you are an artist or woodworker who desires that particular look. A Burl or Burr, depending on your region, is an outgrowth or deformity on the tree, usually in or near the branch, that takes place because the tree is growing under some form of stress, be it viral, fungal or environmental.
Any species of tree are susceptible. Burls are commonly found in Redwoods, and poachers have turned it into an endgame to get them. Because of the size of the trees, they end up doing more harm then if they just left the burl alone.
The most expensive burl comes from the Padauk tree, found in Southeast Asia. These go for upwards of $350 per b/f (board foot) or $75 per lb. Burls can give off the appearance of wood that has just exploded, which is highly sought after by furniture designers and clock makers. Burls are extremely hard to work with, due to the grain pattern being wildly interlocking and twisted. When working with it, it is prone to chipping and crackling, even breaking off in large chunks. Despite its difficult behavior in creating the pieces, it produces phenomenal end results.
**I advise, when you are shopping for your next burl wood piece, please inquire where and how the wood was sourced. Make sure that wood was obtained legally and correctly. Poachers will not be supported by myself and my business.