Field Notes


March 14, 2019

Have you ever seen those large knot-like structures protruding from a tree trunk and wondered what they are? These peculiar growths are called burls.

Burls usually result when trees are subject to stressors such as fungus, viruses, or injury. They range in size, but can grow to nearly 45 feet in circumference and weigh 22 TONS. The largest burls are seen on coastal redwood trees and, in some instances, can actually grow a new tree!

These unique features are highly prized by woodworkers for their artistic value, but this can be problematic. Removing a burl will often cause the tree to die, so it’s much better to leave them alone. Next time you’re out, take a close look at these interesting growths. This field note is from Matt Leone, a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving with GTRLC. Enjoy!

Categorised in: