What does the term "burl" mean in Honduras Rosewood Burl?
A "burl" is actually composed of hundreds or thousands of bud growths, but instead of growing into branches, these buds stopped growing and became dormant just after emerging from the tree, typically less than 1/4 of an inch long on Honduras Rosewood Burls. Hiding these almost needle-sharp woody thorn-like growths is an atypical swirly-pattern bark which is thicker than the bark on the unaffected area of the tree. The more buds grow out of the area, the more the tree trunk distends.
Though burls can come in numerous shapes and different trees can produce more uniquely distinct burls, the most common shape of a burl is a half of a sphere. Imagine a football (known to Americans as a "soccer" ball), cut in half and stuck to the side of a tree trunk. A burl, depending in the species and size or age of the tree can range in size from smaller than half a baseball to the size of a Volkswagen Bug!
Burls rarely occur on most species of trees but can be slightly more common on other types of trees.
No one knows exactly what the trigger is that causes a burl to develop. There are theories but none worth repeating.
As is with any gem, and Honduras Rosewood Burl certainly is a gem, the more rare and beautiful the wood and the burl, the valuable it is!
by Julian Sherrard, Proprietor, The Orange Gallery
Rosewood, Dalbergia stevensonii,
Common Name: Honduran Rosewood
Dalbergia stevensonii, is a medium-sized tree found in broadleaf evergreen swamp forests of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, typically along rivers. Honduras rosewood is very dense and durable, and a valuable timber.
Description: Medium to dark pinkish brown,with dark streaks
Zericote Wood, Cordia dodecandra
Other Name: Ziricote, Ciricote
Other Names: Chechen, Chechem
Other name: Cabbagebark
Jobillo (ho be yo)
The Janka Hardness Scale - Get a good idea of the relative hardness of various types of wood.