Burls are spherical woody growths on the trunks of Cedar, Maple and other trees common to the forests of British Columbia.
Their growth is caused by an irritation to the bark of the tree usually from insects, bacteria, or even from rubbing against another tree. Once started, the burl grows with the tree, each year building a new growth ring within itself. It is these misshapen growth rings within the burl that produce the incredibly beautiful, elaborate patterns in the grain when finished and brought to a high polish.
Relatively little is known about burls for one main reason: It takes a long time for a burl to grow- nearly as long as the tree on which it is found, so research is stretched out over a long period of time.
This magnificent burl was discovered about 9 years ago in the Cowichan Valley head waters of the San Juan River on Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada. It is approximately 800 years and is from a Red Western Cedar. A burl of this size and age is extremely uncommon.