What is Burl Wood? It's Weirder Than You Think!
Burl wood is anything but average. The swirls, twirls, and eyes dancing in the bark all create a unique, highly figured wood grain that no human could dream of designing.
But what is burl wood really? We know you've heard of it -- our walnut burl and maple burl watches get a lot of love from you guys! Here's a hint: it's not a type of tree!
A burl is a cool-looking, extraneous growth on a tree. Ugly on the outside, but magnificent on the inside, it can form on any type of tree! A burl usually grows when the tree is undergoing some stress, whether it be an injury, virus, or fungal infection. The tree's growth hormones are disrupted and, consequently, it produces those colorful looking lumps and swirls.
A burl is an unusual-looking collection of tree cells. These are callous tissues. These are formed usually as a response to environmental damage, or pruning, or insect attacks, or even storms. Basically, when storms happen, they damage trees, and trees as a response from this callous tissue to heal. The callous tissue then forms burls that we all admire. They are not regulated by the same tree chemicals as callus growth, so they grow into unique shapes and styles.
These burls are found around tree trunk bases or where branches have been broken. They are also found in underground tree tissue. Burls are not unique to just one species of tree. In fact, some of the popular tree species that regularly grow burls are:
These burls grow at a rate faster than that of other tree cells and therefore grow to unpredictable sizes. They also grow at the same rate in all weathers. Many people think of burls as diseased but that is not the case, neither are these contagious. Burls are actually really beneficial for trees as they help preserve a damaged tree.
What are burls used for?
Burls have a very irregular size and dimensions and therefore they are not known for their sturdiness. For this reason, burl wood isn’t used for solid structures but is used for things like watches, furniture, and instruments, etc.
Look how gorgeous the interior of the burls are when cut open!
While burls can technically form on any type of tree, certain species are more susceptible to the fungal attacks that produce burl wood. As a result, burls are quite rare. They can't be produced on command and, hence, are prized for their incomparable beauty.
Interestingly, burls don't do much harm to trees or shorten their lifespan. In fact, burls, despite their rarity, are a sustainable wood product if harvested with care. They can be harvested without chopping down and killing an entire tree. As burls age, their colors and patterns become even richer. It can take 30-40 years for a burl to reach maturity and its peak in distorted beauty.
Unsightly, but truly a gift from nature!
One piece of burl wood will never be identical to another. That's why all of our watches are naturally unique...they'll never look the same as in the product photo! Burls are great conversation pieces for the wood enthusiast.
Therefore, we should not remove tree burls because removing them exposes trees to a lot of damages since burls are protecting trees from injuries and damages.
Treehut's premium handcrafted wooden watches come from many different types of wood, such as purple heart wood, for both men and women. These watches will add style and sophistication to your life and will make you stand out!