Story by Brian Ross, Laura Land and Sea Ranger
The Bloodwood burl, a large knotty area often in the shape of an inverted bowl, forms on the trunk, branch or exposed root, and is commonly found in the trees of Cape York Peninsula.
The burl forms as a result of human or enviromnetal damage to the tree from fire or flood, yet the most common cause of burling is insect and mold infestation.
Highly prized by wood turners and timber craftspeople, the burl, when worked,is a beautiful and highly figured, with patterns and swirls throughout the timber. A burled segment is cut off the tree by a timber cutter or wood turner, when the knot is deemed large enough to turn into a bowl or to be used as a table top. The burl cut straight off the bloodwood tree, is dried in the workshop. Once sufficeintly dry, it is put onto a wood lathe and turned.
The wood grain of a burl is notoriously week and if not dried properly may shatter on the lathe. It is important that the timber is properly dried.
The most beautiful burls are found on Bloodwood, Redwood and Gum trees.