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About Birdseye Maple

About Birdseye Maple

birdseye maple lumberBirdseye Maple is a beautiful wood that occurs naturally in less than 1/10th of 1% of all Sugar Maple trees.

Its name aptly describes the "eyes" that develop in the tree when it is young. These eyes continue to develop, getting generally larger, as the tree grows.

Birdseye maple is like a natural saltwater pearl. It develops in only a tiny fraction of the overall population. It is not caused by disease; and it is not separate specie.

Birdseye maple cannot be cultured or intentionally reproduced. In this way; it is different from pearls. It only occurs naturally; so it is very rare and special.

Each tree has its own personality. The development of eyes and figure in each tree is usually consistent within that tree; and unique to that tree. No two trees are exactly alike.

The Birdseyes themselves often vary within a tree. The eyes are usually larger at the bark than at the heart; although some eyes do maintain a constant size throughout the tree. Birdseye varies greatly tree to tree.

birdseye maple lumberSome birdseye maple trees develop eyes that are round. Other trees develop c-shaped eyes. There are oval shaped eyes; and eyes that resemble deer tracks. Some eyes look like rain streaks on a windowpane. Some trees develop eyes that are black inside. These are referred to as black eyes, raisin eyes, or Spanish eyes. This type of eye can be strikingly beautiful when finished.

There is also great variety in the spacing of the Birdseye in different trees.

Some maple trees develop Birdseyes that are small and spaced well apart. Other trees develop eyes that are densely spaced. Some trees also develop a tilted, or herringbone, curl along with the eyes. This is often referred to as bowtie figure, flash figure, crossfire, highlights, or buff.

The color of the wood varies widely also.

Some trees produce wood that is fawn brown. This wood often has darker accent streaks in it along with the birdseye maple figure.

birdseye maple lumberMany Birdseye maple trees develop a rose colored wood. It may vary from light pink at the bark, to dark rose at the heart. Sometimes this color change is gradual in ever darkening tones. Other times there is an abrupt color change. In these cases there is a line delineating pink wood from rose wood.

Some trees are snow white inside; and others are cream colored.

Each type of Birdseye maple provides a different look. People who work with Birdseye Maple frequently develop a preference for one type over another. It is a matter of taste.

It is all beautiful.

So; the wood from each tree is unique. While no two trees are alike; matching of similar types is possible. The same is true for pearls.

Birdseye Maple has a long history of use as a decorative wood. The capabilities of modern machines; and the advantages of modern finishing techniques, have increased its popularity.

Today; Birdseye Maple is used in every type of woodworking project.

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