Have VERY Large Burl at Base of Silver Maple

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Forum topic by benyamin posted 08-26-2014 09:51 PM 3115 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1704 days

08-26-2014 09:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: burl maple silver tree woodworking base

I have a mature Silver Maple with a huge burl at the bottom.

We live in Tennessee, right between Nashville and Chattanooga. On property, we have a huge Silver Maple tree what is quite large at the bottom. Our contractor reminded us how much something like this could be worth for a woodworker.

The tree is a bit more rectangular than round, but the bottom burl is just gigantic. Here are some diameters:
Circumference: from 22’ at the very bottom to 27’ on up below the branches
Diameter: 9’

Some images:

We are hoping that someone would want to buy this incredible tree for the use of the burl. While it is grand, we would rather it be put to use than for weather to destroy it.

Thanks everyone!

10 replies so far

View Tony_S's profile


953 posts in 3321 days

#1 posted 08-26-2014 11:23 PM

That’s a helluva tree….but I don’t see a Burl anywhere.

Google “tree burl” (images)

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View benyamin's profile


4 posts in 1704 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 11:32 PM

I was told by a local guy that the bottom part of the trunk, where all the branches start going out, is called a burl, too. The diameter down there is huge, with all the top of the tree coming from it. Larger than a normal maple, it has a unique shape and much more potential with the top trunks “sprouting” from that area.

Would be great for a couple of very large table tops.

View bobasaurus's profile


3547 posts in 3422 days

#3 posted 08-27-2014 12:58 AM

Sorry, but that isn’t a burl. It’s just a big trunk, though it would probably make for some neat lumber with compression ripples, etc. A burl looks more like this:

or this:

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View WDHLT15's profile


1797 posts in 2714 days

#4 posted 08-27-2014 01:11 AM

Nope, not a burl. Awesome tree, though.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2844 days

#5 posted 08-27-2014 04:06 AM

Silver maple does not make the best lumber. It is a soft maple and in my experience it twisted when it dried

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3770 days

#6 posted 08-27-2014 12:27 PM

Another name for a tree trunk is bole.

-- My reality check bounced...

View benyamin's profile


4 posts in 1704 days

#7 posted 08-27-2014 12:46 PM

Thank you hairy! So, we have a huge bole!

I still believe it would make a couple of nice, really large slabs for some unique furniture.

View Crank50's profile


173 posts in 1814 days

#8 posted 08-27-2014 01:29 PM

I agree with the above posters that you bo not have a burl, but there should be some interesting crotch grain in there. Unfortunately, to utilize the most interesting grain you would have to saw vertically. But, vertical cuts would preclude making a big oval or irregular round slab.

Best use might be turning blanks. Bet there are some interesting bowls and vases in there.

View FellingStudio's profile


93 posts in 1920 days

#9 posted 08-27-2014 02:34 PM

That is a large tree with lots of lumber in it.

Before you start getting big ideas about striking it rich via selling that lumber consider the realities of getting that lumber out of the tree … it will take a decent amount of labor and some heavy machinery just to cut it down and get it to a mill. Milling and drying will again take labor and heavy machinery, not to mention time.

Silver maple is a soft maple. Not the most desirable maple in the world, but properly handled there could be some real nice lumber there. The big question is whether it is worth it or not to cut. Obviously if the tree is near the end of its life for some reason, you want to take it out, but otherwise I would encourage you to seriously consider the value of the tree as a tree vs as lumber, and consider the costs involved in turning it from a tree into lumber.

-- Jesse Felling -

View CreekOne's profile


113 posts in 1611 days

#10 posted 08-27-2014 02:44 PM

That would make some realy nice veneers! Knife cut veneers from that would last for ever…

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