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harvesting a burl question... (Read 610 times)
 
Anthony Gomez
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harvesting a burl question...
Jan 20th, 2016 at 12:06am
 
I am blessed to have a backyard that has a creek passing through it  and still live in the city - there are a dozen trees across the creek and every day I stare at a large burl growing on one of the  trees that has seen better days - can I harvest the burl without killing the tree? - is it best to harvest the portion of the  log that has the burl growing on it ?
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Alan Hollar
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Re: harvesting a burl question...
Reply #1 - Jan 20th, 2016 at 10:44am
 
Odds are good that slicing a large burl off a living tree will kill the tree sooner or later. Also, slicing off a burl frequently leaves substantial amounts of figured wood unharvested, as the burl figure tends to taper in toward the center of the tree. Ideally, I would cut the entire section of the tree out, leaving a generous stub of the straight timber on both ends of the burl. Wax the stub ends and store off the ground and out of direct sunlight.
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« Last Edit: Jan 20th, 2016 at 10:44am by Alan Hollar »  
 
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Tom Albrecht
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Re: harvesting a burl question...
Reply #2 - Jan 29th, 2016 at 7:07pm
 
Alan Hollar wrote on Jan 20th, 2016 at 10:44am:
Odds are good that slicing a large burl off a living tree will kill the tree sooner or later. Also, slicing off a burl frequently leaves substantial amounts of figured wood unharvested, as the burl figure tends to taper in toward the center of the tree. Ideally, I would cut the entire section of the tree out, leaving a generous stub of the straight timber on both ends of the burl. Wax the stub ends and store off the ground and out of direct sunlight.


I am pretty sure that is NOT true-- the part about killing the tree. Plenty of large mature trees in my neck of the woods have had large limbs sawn off at the base and the trees remain healthy. It is not at all uncommon to remove storm damaged limbs from trees (at the base) to prolong the life of a tree, and as long as the trunk is not girdled all the way round, the tree will be fine.
Yes, there would be some interesting figure left in the tree, but that harvest can happen later if you are young enough now.
I say go for the burl now!
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Don Stephan
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Re: harvesting a burl question...
Reply #3 - Jan 29th, 2016 at 8:42pm
 
Trees have special healing cells at the branch bark collar to grow over the cut when a branch is removed at the collar.  These healing cells are not along the trunk, so the tree cannot try to heal over damage along the trunk.  Plus, I expect that sapwood carries water only between roots and leaves immediately below and above.  Cut into the trunk and the branches immediately above may lose their water supply.  The news stories a few months ago about stolen redwood burls out west said the same.
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