Large burl on a tree on my property....what's it worth?

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Forum topic by Cory posted 09-30-2010 03:57 PM 152006 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3356 days

09-30-2010 03:57 PM

While scouting a hunting spot on my property, I saw this tree:

I’m pretty sure it’s an oak tree. What would this be worth? Should I cut it down and try to sell it?

Thanks for the help.


-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

9 replies so far

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 2763 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 05:23 PM

I used to have this problem that I would notice these burls everywhere when I was doing alot of turning work. Could be worth something if you live near a specialty lumber retailer. Sometimes you cut into them and they are too far gone. See the open bark at the bottom. Looks like rot has set in. Could still be sound in the burl though. If you take it then cut the whole block off. Don’t just slice off the burl. Chances are the burl continues some into the trunk and so there will be more material to turn or mount with. Large burls have most potential for profit to the turner that can show its features well.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3115 posts in 3045 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 05:51 PM

If those leaves are any indication, yes indeed it appears to be an oak tree. Be careful and check into the legality of cutting it down. I don’t know about Indiana, but the California authorities get all soggy and hard to light if you cut down an oak, or even trim it, without a permit. My sister has one growing in her parkway that’s lifting the sidewalk and street, but the city wants four thousand bucks for a permit to cut it down.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2897 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 08:28 PM

$4000???? Show! that all the crooks aren’t in jail. Wait until it falls on the power lines or a house and see what happens.

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 2763 days

#4 posted 10-03-2010 11:46 PM

I was thinking that the leaves that are showing don’t give any indication that this tree is an oak. Possibly the bark.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3356 days

#5 posted 10-04-2010 03:15 PM

I’m 90% certain this is an oak tree. Not sure if it’s white or red oak, though. I’m going to contact a wood dealer that specializes in material for turners and see what they say. Thanks for the help everyone.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Tribalwind's profile


69 posts in 3096 days

#6 posted 10-05-2010 01:57 AM

my thinking, your best deal would be gotten from putting the piece(s) on ebay.
please someone correct me if i’m wrong.
i will sometimes get burls in the wood that is delivered to me free from tree services nearby.

a dealer will have to make a profit on it, i cant imagine them paying very much for one piece.
anyone have experience selling 1 burled log section to a hardwood lumber dealer? does that even happen ?

i’d cut it to standard sizes that fit into USPS flat-rate boxes, sell it piecemeal on ebay/craigslist,sell/trade it here etc,(local wood/turners guild?) ,by cutting up you’d also confirm whether its all rot/junk or not. prolly easier to sell small bits than 1 huge chunk. i see wet green wood sold all the time on ebay.
personally i dont like working with oak,especially for turning. but burl is burl! different story.

-- Matthew,Long island ny.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2894 days

#7 posted 10-08-2010 10:47 PM

I would say it depends on the health of the tree. If it is rotted, as it sort of appears, then I’d cut it down and see about getting it sliced up. Thicker pieces for turning from the outside edge, thinner for table slabs (or whatever) from the center portion of the burl. I would anticipate $15-$25 a board foot for sliced, wet wood. If it is healthy, let it grow; the burl is obviously growing faster than the tree so let the money add up. By the way, any deer out there?

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Matt Pec's profile

Matt Pec

21 posts in 2717 days

#8 posted 10-16-2010 02:56 AM

Cory, you’re right. That tree is unquestionably Red Oak. Having had experience with hundreds of them over the years I’m afraid you’ll probably find exactly what Jonnyfurniture said: it’ll likely be at least partly rotted/holed inside. Carpenter ants LOVE these types of openings and I find them in crotches/burls like this all the time. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

-- hswoodcutting, "Catchy sayings are fun but I'm in it for the wood."

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3115 posts in 3045 days

#9 posted 10-16-2010 03:44 AM

Hey, Knothead62, that’s for sure. The tree was planted illegally many years ago (it’s about 60 feet tall, now), but in California, oaks are protected. The irony is, this one had not been on the city’s roster until my sister called. Guess that’s the price we pay for honesty. Now they have a history, and took pictures and all. Now, if she trims it, they’ll fine her if she doesn’t pay for a permit first. Anyone who calls “Valencia” (it’s actually Newhall), California “awesometown” is a crook and a liar. Another Bell, California in the making. Maybe I’ll park my junky car under it and have an “accidental” electrical fire! J/K.

Back on topic- Cory, I’m sure someone here would be interested in slices if it ain’t all rotten. ;)

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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