Maple Burl-What Should I Do?

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Forum topic by S_Elliott posted 06-06-2009 04:52 PM 5957 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2697 days

06-06-2009 04:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple milling question burl harvest

I just, although I have been an active reader for some time and love the site!

I have a live sugar maple on my property-at knee height it is ~ 105”, at shoulder height about 65”. It is nearly solid burl-in some spots completely encircling the tree. The rest of the tree is loaded with smaller burls and there are two well-formed crotches. Lots of ‘pin-prick’ holes in bark, so from my research, it could be “bird’s eye” inside.

I am new at this. I am planning to start a lutherie side business. If anyone can advise me on a couple of things, I would be very grateful.

I had planned to pull the tree down (shallow, rocky soil-roots accessible) and cut the wood as appropriate (I have access to an old, very wide kerf circular mill saw). Friends have advised me that with all that burl, I should sell the tree for veneering and use other maple for guitars/mandolins. I live in southeastern Massachusetts. I made rwo calls, and was basically laughed at on the phone.

I want to put thewood to it’s best (and ultimately, most profitable) use. I have two questions. PLEASE. Is it worthwhile to try to find a buyer for the tree, and if so, does anyone have any trecommendations? Perhaps I was approachin the trade at the wrong level? Second, if I take the tree down myself, there is no way to avoid cutting through some nice burl no matter what I do when I saw it into usable planks and (hopefully) also seperate the largest burls from the trunk. I do not know how to do this. I would greatly appreciate some advice or referals to links to help me do this without destrying much beautiful burl wood. Thank you so much in advance!

-- Steve

6 replies so far

View bamasawduster's profile


318 posts in 3014 days

#1 posted 06-06-2009 05:00 PM

I know this guy who lives in UP, MI who cuts a lot of Burl. You might give him a shout. His name is Kris Granlund.

kris granlund <granlund3>

-- Gary, Huntsville. Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 3371 days

#2 posted 06-06-2009 05:20 PM

Please post of pics of this lovely tree. As you figured out with your first 2 calls, most tree companies don’t care about the burls, crotch, etc. They are mainly in the business of straight cut lumber. You will probably have your best luck cutting the tree yourself, and taking the time to stabilize the burl. At that point you could sell it online or work with a local woodworking shop to sell it. Probably the same with the crotch or the birdseye… especially after you dry it.

You might even find some takers on this site!

View saw4fun's profile


174 posts in 2760 days

#3 posted 06-06-2009 09:56 PM

You can try They have a ” Find a Sawyer” link on the right side of the page that may help you. If not you can always go to the “Sawing and Drying” forum and post a “Large maple Burl in SE MA” message, or something to that affect and see what happens. Hope this helps!

View saw4fun's profile


174 posts in 2760 days

#4 posted 06-06-2009 09:58 PM

Or you could ship it to me and I would send you pics of how pretty it turns out! ;) Good luck!

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2978 days

#5 posted 06-06-2009 10:05 PM

You could also cut me a few pieces and send it to me too…....................LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3821 days

#6 posted 06-08-2009 01:57 AM

Steve here is a blog I just posted on some maple burl

Good luck.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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