What Is Burl Ash Wood?

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The wayward grains of burl ash wood give it a unique beauty that is fitting for the world's most exquisite decor. The abnormality of burl, combined with the availability of ash, make this wood especially popular among woodworkers.

Definition

"Burl ash wood" refers to deformities found on trunks and roots of ash trees. These are caused by infection, injury or an undeveloped bud that isn't able to grow properly.

Appearance

Burl ash wood is generally darker than regular ash and is noted for its rich pattern of swirls, twists and turns. Sometimes burl ash wood has "eyes" that grow around unformed buds. Eyes are especially common among black ash burls.

Types

The most popular burl ash generally comes from solid, white or black ash trees. Olive ash burl usually comes from the outside area of the burl, has fewer swirls and eyes and is generally considered less attractive.

Strength

Burl ash wood is considered stronger than regular ash and resistant to splitting.

Disadvantages

Woodworkers often find burl ash prone to drying and cracking. Gum pockets and bark inclusions can cause surface defects.

Uses

Burl ash wood is commonly used for burl treen, or small household items made from burl. It is also used for veneer, decorative accents and furniture inlay.

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