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Identifying bird's eye maple

What causes the unique patterns in bird's eye maple lumber? 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

Q.
What causes birds eye maple? How can one identify standing trees which may have birds eye characteristics?

A.
There are many people who can tell if a tree has bird's eye just from the appearance of the bark. There is a report that I have seen about the identification.

It is a growth "defect" and so it is genetic in origin. It results because of the grain deviation, which in turn gives the high contrast in color and reflectivity. I'll look for the book; it was published by the US Forest Service.

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Click on Wood Doctor Archives to peruse past answers.

If you would like to obtain a copy of "The Wood Doctor's Rx", visit the Wood Education and Resource Center Web site for more information.

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