Burl Wood-Best Places to Source Burl in Northern California
23rd Mar 2020
Working with burl wood can allow you to create some amazing and beautiful artistic pieces, as well as beautiful bowls. If you are looking for burl wood, you might be trying to source them locally versus using more exotic burl wood. Still, no matter what type of burl wood you prefer, there are options to purchase burl wood from various local dealers.
Domestic burl wood can still have some amazing characteristics and if you are sourcing it locally, then that can make burl wood more budget friendly as well. Here are some of the best places to source burl in Northern California and how to source it responsibly.
What Is Domestic Burl Wood?
Burl wood is a tree growth where the wood grain has grown in a deformed manner on a domestic tree. It is often found on a tree trunk or branch, formed as a rounded outgrowth filled with smaller knots that were from dormant buds. Depending on the species of tree, the burls can grow quite large. What is surprising is that these burls are often the result of injury, virus, insect infestation, or fungus.
The burl wood is also found on the roots, which means when a tree is removed or dies, then the burls are discovered and harvested. They are also covered by bark, even if they are found underground. In order to work with burl wood, most people need to carve off portions of the bark to reveal the beautiful wood grain underneath.
Clearly, burl wood is highly prized and can be used by furniture makers, artists, and wood sculptors. The wild grain makes it extremely dense and resistant to splitting, which makes it great for bowls, mauls, or mallets. However, if you are trying to work with burl wood on a lathe or with hand tools, it can be very challenging. Burl wood is so twisted and interlocked that it can shatter or chip in unpredictable ways.
Issues with Poaching
One of the biggest issues when it comes to burl wood is that poaching of state and national forests have been recorded. Poachers will cut burls off from the sides of trees using chainsaws, uncaring about the damage that they could be doing to the tree itself. Redwood trees have been abused in this manner. Some of these trees have even been felled, just to reach the burls that are growing higher up on the tree itself.
If you are purchasing burl wood, then it is important to ask where the burl was harvested from and to make sure that is was obtained legally. No matter what wood source you work with, they should be able to answer those questions and verify their process of obtaining their burl wood stock.
Our knowledgeable staff will be able to walk you through the process of how our burl wood is obtained, so you can be sure that you are shopping with confidence.
Find a Local Burl Wood Dealer
One of the first ways to source burl wood is to look for a local dealer, one who is familiar with the different domestic woods available. In California, there is redwood burl, with its unique designs, grains, and swirls. The colors of this domestic wood are also beautiful for furniture, include tabletops, coffee tables, and more.
There are also different local burl woods, such as maple, oak, and more. Each local wood dealer is going to have a variety of different burl wood offerings. It is important to keep in mind that their stock is likely going to keep changing, because burls take time to grow. Plus, once they are harvested, that burl wood is essentially one of a kind. If you see a specific burl wood that you like, consider purchasing it right away, because each piece of burl is unique.
The best part of working with a local burl wood dealer is that they may be able to source larger pieces and even do the finishing work, allowing you to keep the live edge of your domestic burl wood. Be sure to ask them about the various offerings they provide of burl wood, be it exotic or domestic.
Our team not only works with exotic burl wood, but also with domestic burl wood. We can provide a variety of options that can fit your wood working burl wood needs and help you to create a unique wooden piece for your home or office. Plus, our team can help you find an independent wood worker who can help you to create your unique furniture or other pieces.
Contact us today to learn about your burl wood options and how we can help!
Global Wood Source is a family owned and operated lumber yard and mill specializing in exotic woods from around the world and rare domestics. We personally acquire and inspect each piece of log and timber obtained from forests and jungles worldwide.