In search of the wild burl

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Forum topic by hairy posted 12-18-2011 06:26 PM 2921 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2720 posts in 3559 days

12-18-2011 06:26 PM

Since the trees lost their leaves, I have been looking for burls. Not to harvest, just to look at. I haven’t seen one yet. Every where I go, I’m burl hunting. I scan the big trees first before looking at the younger trees.

At one time I burned wood for heat.( Don’t shoot! I’ve seen the error of my ways.) Of all the trees I cut up, I don’t recall seeing one.

There is some confusion regarding burls. Is it a wart, a tumor? Do we just have healthy trees here in southwest Ohio? Maybe the local trees use protection?

Do I need a spotlight at midnight? What kind of bait?

I’ve seen vendors tout their burls as legally harvested. Do you get a tag with your license?

Inquiring minds want to know.

-- My reality check bounced...

5 replies so far

View Porchfish's profile


824 posts in 2559 days

#1 posted 12-18-2011 06:45 PM

Hairy, you are on the right track if you are going back out at night, but you must have handy, a large salt shaker and burlap bag ….oh wait , that’s for snipe hunting…...never mind !

Merry Christmas anywho !

your north florida friend & fellow burl hunter, don s.

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2831 days

#2 posted 12-19-2011 05:05 AM

good luck in the great Burl Hunt. I know when you find it, it will blossom into somthing very unique. :) Oh, and LOL @ don s….. the snipe-humter

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3045 days

#3 posted 12-19-2011 05:25 AM

Legally harvested burls means that you approach the land owner and get their permission to harvest “their” burls. Some types of trees are protected so you may have to get special permission to harvest them.

Illegally harvested burls means you sneaked onto someone’s property and cut the burls without permission and STOLE the burl!

As for night time searches, it really is difficult to see, even with a good light! Much easier to search in the day time when you can really see. No salt is needed! ;-)

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2985 days

#4 posted 12-19-2011 06:33 PM

I’ve gotten (yes, legally) many burls, finding them can be difficult. I spend more hours in the woods than anyone I know, as that is about the only place I feel at peace. They grow on maybe 1/2% of the trees around here (NW Oregon), and tend to grow on several local trees if I find 1. Other areas have none for miles. They tend to start out too small to see, but get more visable on trees that get to 14-16” diameter. Mostly I see them on the local big leaf maples, but I see many on the douglas firs as well. Watching one on a western red alder, heard the tree will meet its demise to a clear cutting next spring… gonna try to get it from the loggers. One I know of is about 5’ tall, 3’ across, and at least 3’ deep hanging on the side of a fir tree in a national forest stand. I admire that monster with wide-eyed dreams, hope to get a shot at it someday. As to why they form, I have never heard anyone with an answer that is more than an educated guess.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Randy_ATX's profile


879 posts in 2469 days

#5 posted 12-19-2011 10:29 PM

Here is some pretty good information on deformed (burl) growth:

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

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