Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I learned something the other day. There has been discussion here about what causes "'deformities" like curl in/burls on trees. I came across something on birdseye http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdseye_maple
I know I have mentioned in private to at least one member about this certain place in the timber near a local river that I see figured specimens in unusually high %. That link explains it to me :detective:. I have even posted pictures of some of the trees. This one was taken with a camera phone, bad shot of a heavily birdseyed little tree.


I have seen a huge birdseye osage stuck in a log jam on the same river (IMPOSSIBLE extraction, miles in on foot...or I would have had it $$$)

That river is constantly out of its banks and the trees that are able to survive on the flood plane are tortured and twisted. Like I said many show signs of figure. I walk this land fishing. Most of it is state owned and "protected" from logging. Some of it is privately owned (some just sold recently, I did not know until after the sale , very weird bottom land full of trees :cry:) 90% of the private owners are, well kinda jerks, they don't even want you walking it mushroom hunting/fishing the river so I have not explored all I want.

The point being I have said "something is up" with all those trees in the bottom for years, now I know what. The stress of their environment is causing curl/birdseye :yes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How's the fishing where you are finding these trees?
I just happened to have another picture to answer that question Mike ;)


I mostly crappie fish it but largemouth bass are there so are catfish...BIG ones. My buddy caught a 54 lb flathead last summer. I will sometimes fish for channel cat too, but crappie is my favorite. Walk in with a pole and a pocket full of crappie jigs, walk out with a bucket full for supper.:thumbup1:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
You're onto it bro. The young trees never seem to have big character. Show me a gnarled, old growth whatever and I'll jump to cut it. The best blister maple seems to come from huge overgrown maple trees. I do find some decent tiger maple in some soft maple around 12 inches or so but give me a big ol' 24-30 inch one and it will have some killer, deep tiger ripple that makes me drool.

I saw a neat article on birdseye that said that one of the predominant characters of a birdseye maple is that the base of the tree has a "coke bottle" type shape vs the normal "bell" at the base. I haven't seen it in the woods myself, I usually had to see it in the log pile with some of the bark knocked off.
 

·
Forgotten but not gone
Joined
·
5,674 Posts
I've seen that coke bottle shape too, but haven't cut into one. I have not run into much burl in any species around here except in boxelder, and that of course is maple too.
I have cut one or two walnuts that had some light burl, some oak, and one osage log that was burled and curly-ish in the crotch, but it too was light. I've cut some super-funky erc before though.

Those fish made me get the munchies.

Daren maybe next time you go shrum harvesting, take a coleman and cook up some tea there in the woods, give some of that "sun tea" to the landowner, wait a few minutes, and then ask him if it's cool if you have a tree or twenty. :wacko:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

·
Saw Miller Australia
Joined
·
104 Posts
I learned something the other day. There has been discussion here about what causes "'deformities" like curl in/burls on trees. I came across something on birdseye http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdseye_maple
I know I have mentioned in private to at least one member about this certain place in the timber near a local river that I see figured specimens in unusually high %. That link explains it to me :detective:. I have even posted pictures of some of the trees. This one was taken with a camera phone, bad shot of a heavily birdseyed little tree.


I have seen a huge birdseye osage stuck in a log jam on the same river (IMPOSSIBLE extraction, miles in on foot...or I would have had it $$$)

That river is constantly out of its banks and the trees that are able to survive on the flood plane are tortured and twisted. Like I said many show signs of figure. I walk this land fishing. Most of it is state owned and "protected" from logging. Some of it is privately owned (some just sold recently, I did not know until after the sale , very weird bottom land full of trees :cry:) 90% of the private owners are, well kinda jerks, they don't even want you walking it mushroom hunting/fishing the river so I have not explored all I want.

The point being I have said "something is up" with all those trees in the bottom for years, now I know what. The stress of their environment is causing curl/birdseye :yes:
Hi Daren,"Birdseye"grain in Queensland Maple (flindersia brayleyana)is caused by an insect(s)that attacks it!!These trees are often exposed to the elements(no forest cover),and many also develop "Curly"grain,the result of a stressfull life :huh:.Cheers Matey:thumbsup:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
Those pictures you just posted don't show good birdseye figure.If they were flatsawn, they would show many more eyes than what you got by quartersawing them.When you quarter saw birdseye like that , you are sawing parralle through the eyes.When you flatsaw it , you are cutting cross them which alows them to show much better.
 

·
Saw Miller Australia
Joined
·
104 Posts
Deep "Birdseye"grain

Those pictures you just posted don't show good birdseye figure.If they were flatsawn, they would show many more eyes than what you got by quartersawing them.When you quarter saw birdseye like that , you are sawing parralle through the eyes.When you flatsaw it , you are cutting cross them which alows them to show much better.
Queensland Maple will at times produce "birdseye"grain so intense,it will be just as prevailant on the QUARTERSAWN face as it is on the FLAT/RIFTSAWN face.Will post better photos as soon as i can,maybe then you will see what i am talking about'.There are a number of species in Australia that display "birdseye"grain,eg Huon Pine,many Acacias,Eucalypts,Red Cedar etc."Birdseye" can be just as intense in these species as well,in other words,well beyond the first few inches into the log!!There are always exceptions to the rules.regards MAPLEMAN:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I thought I would drag this oldie back up because I went for a walk along the same river in a different spot ("walk" is what I call it when I am fishing and don't catch anything :blush:)

I am just cruising along looking at trees and IDing them...and stumble on a patch that everything is covered in burl. Silver maple, osage, cottonwood, cherry...I just stood and looked around at literally tons of burl. I tried to snap some pictures with my camera phone (which is generic so the pictures are lame) I took about 10 pictures and these 3 are the only ones 1/2 way decent. Of course the best burls took the worst pictures, so these are just average or below. That burl with my hand in the picture is a cherry burl as big as a ripe watermelon...it was a large tree (standing dead) and the whole thing was cover with them that size.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
Wow what a gold mine of wood! It reminds me of a cherry tree i had covered in them on my property.They were growing all over the tree but were the size of a large grapefruit.I did save them when i milled the tree though.Great find Daren! Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
I would bet dinner that those trees have metal in them based on the location of the burl looking defects. I suspect a fence was attached at some time and would bet you will find a ceramic insulator from an old electric fence a farmer put up many years ago.

I say that because of the location of the defects. It fits perfect with the height of fences and I have seen trees that look just like that and they too were metal infected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That does not sound illogical Kirk, from where you are setting (you would kinda have to see the spot first hand). I too have seen/milled the "fencerow" trees and know what you mean...these particular trees are not any place a fence would have ever been though for one and the grouping was all wrong for any kind of fence. I would guess these trees are in the water 1-2 feet 60% of the time, the river is just low right now (you can see the first picture the water is practically touching the tree even though the river is 3-4 feet below normal crest) They are in a bend/very low spot. Higher ground is not far away and would make a better place for a fence for livestock, and some of it is/was fenced.

Interesting suggestion, but like I said if you saw the spot you would rule out a fence in this case I bet.

And wait a minute...you already owe me dinner I thought :w00t:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
I have seen a few places that were flood prone and most trees were burled for the first 3-4 feet and a few higher than that. Maybe it has something to do with the high water, flowing water, or damage from debris. Kind of like when your skin gets winkly when stay in the tub to long:icon_smile:. My burled elms are in a low spot with standing water 50% of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
thanks for the link Daren. My question is, how can a person tell if a tree will be birdseye? Burls I understand but not the BEM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My question is, how can a person tell if a tree will be birdseye?
JP hit on a tell-tale sign to start looking closer at a particular tree.

I saw a neat article on birdseye that said that one of the predominant characters of a birdseye maple is that the base of the tree has a "coke bottle" type shape vs the normal "bell" at the base.
That is mentioned in this little bit of reading too...Field ID of birdseye maple


It goes on to say you have to strip some bark and you will see it.




.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top