Burl Wood: How to Source It Responsibly
15th Apr 2023
With the environment an ongoing topic, many individuals are looking for ways to sustainably and responsibly source the products they use every day. The critical raw material for woodworkers is only found in nature. Finding ways to source your wood, especially burl wood , responsibly can ensure that it is available for generations to come.
Let’s explore what burl wood is, how it is harvested, and what you can do to ensure you responsibly source it.
What is Burl Wood?
Burl wood is actually a part of the tree that has appeared because bacteria disrupted the tree’s growth process, creating an offshoot that grows away from the grooved grains of the main tree. You might also find knots of burl wood where a tree suffered some type of damage, thus causing an offshoot to form. The layers that result are the way a tree protects itself, much the way our bodies create scabs to protect injuries as they heal.
Their popularity has increased due in part to the unique color and grains that can be found in burl wood. It makes eye-catching pieces of artwork, furniture, and more. If you are looking for burls, you can check damp areas of the forest since burl wood can be created due to various fungal diseases, and those fungi are most often found where it is damp. Yet, if you wander through your trees, you will likely find evidence of burl wood.
But how is burl wood harvested?
Harvesting Burl Wood the Right Way
First, you should never harvest burl wood from a live tree since it will end up negatively impacting its health. Instead, if you are harvesting the burl wood, you should be prepared to harvest the whole tree .
When you harvest the tree, you quickly realize that most of the burl is actually inside the tree, which means cutting the outside of the burl off the tree is just wasteful. Wait until the tree reaches maturity, then cut the whole thing down. Leave some normal wood on either side of the burl wood, thus allowing you to get the most out of your harvest.
Additionally, you never want to harvest burl wood on someone else’s property without their permission. Please note that harvesting burl wood from live redwoods is illegal, as it can cause lasting damage. If you find one on a redwood, just admire the beauty and don’t cut into the tree.
Once a tree is ready to be harvested, you can remove the burl wood and use it for your next woodworking project.
The Benefits of Responsible Harvesting
When you harvest burl wood responsibly, you give the trees a chance to remain healthy and support the overall well-being of the forest. But perhaps you are not interested in grabbing your chainsaw and heading out into the woods to harvest burl wood. How can you still enjoy and work with these beautiful burls?
It is possible to source burl wood responsibly by finding a supplier providing slabs that fit your woodworking needs. Check out how your supplier harvests their burl wood to ensure you are getting wood sourced in an environmentally friendly way and as sustainably as possible.
Our team at Global Wood Source has been in the business of sourcing exotic woods and burl wood for decades. We do our homework to bring you beautiful wood that is sourced responsibly and with minimal harm to the environment. To learn more about the burl wood we offer, contact us today!
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.