Have you noticed that some trees have funky growths on them?
This one appears to have a face.Trees that develop a wood burl can remain healthy and continue to grow unless the injury is in a vulnerable spot or becomes so large and heavy as to create additional stress and cause the tree to break apart.
Burls should not be removed from a living tree which will cause a huge open area for decay unless it is on a removable limb, and then proper pruning practices should be observed.
An anomaly of nature, burls yield a peculiar and rare grained wood sought after by wood carvers. They can be hollowed out to make bowls or to create sculptures for a whimsical touch in the garden.
If large enough, slices can be used for furniture, door inlays, picture frames and other household items. Burls can come from redwood, walnut, buckeye, maple, teak and other species.
A reader from my weekly gardening column contacted me to share that last summer an old and tall maple with a huge burl on it snapped off in their front yard during a wind storm. The weight of the outgrowth was estimated at 400-500 pounds.
"Before" submitted by the readerA friend offered to work with the burl and make a planter stand from it. After over 100 man hours of debugging, bleaching, sanding and staining, a unique sculpture was created. The homeowners are very happy with the resulting focal point it adds to their front lawn and garden. They feel it resembles a Henry Moore piece with implanted images of animals, reptiles and gargoyles depending on an individual’s interpretation.
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