Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Dec. 12, 2017

by Area Forester Lisa Deaton

Lumpy Trees

Sometimes trees respond to injuries or stress (such as a virus, fungus, mold, insects) by growing wood “burls.”  While they look funny on the outside, the wood grain on the inside can be beautiful and is prized by woodworkers.

The photograph at the top of this article is my 6-foot tall supervisor standing next to a white oak stump with numerous burls.

The burl below is growing on an American beech tree.

beech burl front

As I walked closer, I discovered that this burl is truly unusual.  It wraps over the fork in its trunk to the other side of the tree to form a double burl.

Black cherry trees growing in southeastern Virginia are susceptible to black knot fungus, which can cause numerous galls to form on a single tree.

This bowl was made from a cherry burl.

best burl bowl photo

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