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California Claro Walnut Burl

        Burl describes the presence of dormant buds in a live tree. These dormant buds create a sunburst effect in the wood when the wood is quarter sawn as shown in the sample on the left. The sample on the right displays how burl appears when flat sawn. Dormant buds contain all the genetic information to grow new wood tissue. Why they are created by the tree and remain dormant is a mystery. Some experts believe they are formed due to injury or disease, while others believe it has to due with genetics. One thing is for certain, the effect these dormant buds have on the appearance of the wood after it has been sawn is truly a thing of beauty. For centuries burl wood has been considered a prized possession. Trees are like oysters, not every oyster produces a pearl and not every tree produces a burl. The greatest demand for burls in the wood market today is for use as veneer, these veneers adorn many of today's most expensive automobiles and are also used in the production of fine furniture.