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Thread: Birdseye Basswood ???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Birdseye Basswood ???

    .,.,.,
    Last edited by John Bartley; 11-26-2010 at 01:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    i havnt!

    but it is some unique lookin wood there john, here is a question for ya,, can you tell from the outside of a maple if it is birdseye or not? and if so what are you looking for?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    YES...it can be Birds Eye Basswood. In fact I have a bunch of Birds Eye Ash that is growing on my now and its pretty darn rare. This was confirmed by a Maine Forest Ranger so its authenticated.

    Now I can say with authority that your Basswood is more then likely birds eye because Basswood and Ash are VERY similar. In fact even as a logger I have a hard time telling Basswood and Ash apart (I go by the bark and not the leaves), so they are similar. Why birds eye is present in Maple and Ash...two very dislike trees, is an enigma. Its not hard to see that if it occurs in Ash then it could occur in Basswood as well though.

    You gotta mighty rare Jewel there...

    As for your question Larry, NO you can't tell. In fact a few years ago there was a group of logger thugs who went through the woods around where Birds Eye Maple logs were found before and would rip off the barks of trees trying to find birds eye logs to steal. In doing so they killed lots of maple trees that could have been used for anything: from maple sugaring to boards. What a waste. Of course back then Birds Eye Maple was going for 7 grand for a thousand bf, and considering what these same types did last spring trying to steal copper wire for 400 bucks a ton, you can readily see that they aren't exactly the pride of the modern gene pool.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
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    birds eye, well thanks for your input travis. i have heard that for some reason certain growing conditions and soil conditions make for a better chance of it being there. its seems to be a condition of strees in the trees life that causes it.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    .,.,.,
    Last edited by John Bartley; 11-26-2010 at 01:08 AM.

  6. #6
    John I know how you feel. I cut some wood and it was down in this spot that I seldom cut. A logger friend of mine was talking and he said "that's birds eye ash." I was like "there is no such thing," but he was insistent. I called the forest service and it was confirmed. Interestingly enough, I asked this question in the Wood magazine question section 2-3 years ago and they said the same thing, Birds Eye Ash is rare but it does occur.

    Now you did catch me in a little blunder. I guess I can't say I have some big Birds Eye Ash still growing, because I just don't know. I know I saved these Ash for the last 17 years under the ASSUMPTION that they have birds eye in them as they grew in the same area (same acre). Its more then likely there is other Birds Eye Ash in the stand, but I am not going to rip the bark off to find out.

    As for the Basswood,I would have never have thought about Birds Eye Basswood, but it doesn't really surprise me. Use it for something nice, but you already knew that.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Travis, you are Assuming (and Hoping) that sinse one has it there may be others. But, do you know what causes the tree to go Birdseye, I don't believe it is a sub species but a growth effect. Does anyone know for sure?

    I have observed that when you see a tree with burrl lumps protruding, if you look around the area, you can more often than not find another tree with similar lumps. So what causes that growth?

    Some say it is a Cancer type growth and I have heard others say an insect bite often causes a burl to begin...

    I wish I could find documentation that will clairafy this , does the readings you quote have such documentation? If so, then could you provide a link as I would like to read and learn the cause of such oddities in nature.

  8. #8
    I don't think anyone really knows. Stress? Soil type? Competition from other trees. My understanding is that know one really knows what causes Birds Eye Maple/Ash/Basswood

    I know here I do have a beech ridge that is teeming with beeches that have the lumps you describe, but this is a disease that beech is known for. What is odd is in the middle of this beech ridge, (perhaps 5 acres or so in size) is ONE huge beech, 2 feet in diameter and without a blemish on it. How ONE tree could grow and not be affected like the other 3000 is beyond me.

    Oddities of nature I guess.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
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    O.K. I'll spill the beans......You can often see the "eyes" showing through the bark on birdseye maple. What you can't always see is how good the saturation is and how much curl occurs with the eyes so most foresters/ buyers will chip the bark off at the butt end and sometimes elsewhere to check for quality. Birdseye maple grows up under stressed conditions. It does occur much more frequently in certain regions. When I worked logging I kept a close eye on maples on a North facing slope, growing with a hemlock overshadowing them to the South. Often the first 3-6 ft. of the tree's base would be crooked. The bark also often appeared rougher. We cut these trees full stick and buried them if we weren't going to move them within a few days. This was to hide them from thievery and limit checking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Westphalia, Michigan
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    I'll have to figure a photo re-sizer out and post some pictures of some wood that's coming back from the sawmill soon. I retrieved a tree from a local river a few weeks ago that was a blister maple. I spotted the tree from the road and negotiated with the land owner to get it. Subsequently it fell in the river making the job harder. I had to clear a log jam and and fell a tree that was obstructing his view of the river. The log jam was caused when a 40" + white oak fell across the river. I think I have a few pics of that one too. I left the main trunk there because it was too big to move and was suspended over the water by a 16" limb that impaled the stream bed. I found out that green white oak really doesn't float.

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