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What is the best time of year to cut down tree w/burl?

Joined
Jul 1, 2021
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Location
Park Ridge, Il
So, there is an interesting looking burl on a tree on my property. What is the best time of year to harvest the tree? Then once cut down, do I just put end grain sealer and let it sit for a year?
Thanks
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
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Roulette, PA
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www.reallyruralwoodworks.com
Depends on your goal, if you are going to harvest the whole tree, and you want to turn natural edge, it is best to cut the tree during dormancy (after the leaves fall off it) because generally by then the cambium layer and the bark are going to "tighten up" on the tree and bark is less likely to fall off. If you do cut the whole tree, you'll want to seal the ends if you plan to leave it set, but if you expect it to dry in a year, you got another think coming - as a general rule of thumb, figure one year PER INCH of thickness (and that is for sawn lumber and slabs). Best bet to get the most out of your wood, generally you'll cut out as much sections as you plan to be able to turn in a few days' time , and leave the rest in log form (and seal the ends) , keep the log off the ground and covered and out of direct sun, the rest you'll want to rough out to your rough shape (or if doing natural edge, more common is turn them green to finish - AKA once-turned) , and only then set them aside for drying (using whichever of the many, many drying methods works best for you and your species of wood)
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
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Location
Millington, TN
Winter time would be my first choice. Post a pic of the tree and any leaves. If it’s burled all the way around then you might want to find someone with a bandsaw mill to process the wood into the blanks the size you want able to turn. Then sealed all over if two inches or thicker. A good sealer for that can handle being outside is titebond 3 wood glue.

If you have more than you can process then check out Woodbarter.com. You will need to join to post pics and ask questions, but it‘s free. The membership process is there to help keep bots down. Look up user Mike1950 who processes trailer loads of Big Leaf Maple burl out West. He’s processed some of the biggest burls that I have seen lately.


Here’s a red maple burl tree I‘m wanting to process this year if I have the time to spare. Tree is hollow in the middle, but the outside should have some nice burl still.

E697AD00-7113-4746-ABEC-52481115D9EE.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
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Location
Peoria, Illinois
So, there is an interesting looking burl on a tree on my property. What is the best time of year to harvest the tree? Then once cut down, do I just put end grain sealer and let it sit for a year?
Thanks
What species? You definitely don't want to cut hard maple in the spring and summer as the sugar in the tree makes it susceptible to mold and discoloration. Why let it sit a year? Letting it sit means loss to cracks and insect infestation.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
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Location
Park Ridge, Il
Thanks for the replies. We still have a small amount of snow here in the UP. So I might still be in the window of "winter" (drat). There are two trees, one on my property one on my (hopefully a really and giving) neighbor. Pix of both included.
 

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Joined
Jul 19, 2018
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Ponsford, MN
Thanks for the replies. We still have a small amount of snow here in the UP. So I might still be in the window of "winter" (drat). There are two trees, one on my property one on my (hopefully a really and giving) neighbor. Pix of both included.
The one on your property does not have the characteristic shape of a burl, but the neighbor does and both look like they probably have major bark inclusions. The sap usually starts running as soon as the strong sunlight of spring is on them and the days are above freezing so you missed it.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
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Location
Millington, TN
What type of trees are these? If leaves aren’t out then see if it has opposite branching. If so then my guess would be a type of maple.

Either tree doesn’t look very big but these should have some figured wood. You should be able to get some burl and some nice curl near the base of the trunk. I‘d cut them whenever you have time to get them sealed. Otherwise they’ll keep calling your name if you decide to leave them until next winter.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
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Location
Park Ridge, Il
They are maple. I decided to take the one from my property. There is a lot of figured wood and a few smaller burls I am looking forward too getting to turn. Thanks all.
 
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