Madrone Burl

Arbutus menziesii

Trade Names

Madrone Burl

Similar Woods

Maple Burl, Plane Burl




In North America down the Pacific Coast from Canada to California and Mexico. The Madrone Burl produces its burl growth as root growth half over and half under the soil, i.e. the burls must be dug out to obtain them. In the USA this is done by hand in many cases to prevent damage to the valuable wood by heavy machinery.


Rotary cut wood for choice face veneers, luxury architectural woodwork, luxury furniture, inlays and cabinet making.


The wood is reddish-brown and the root burls are very dense with generally closed grain. The tree grows very slowly and, depending upon actual location, is straight without any branches but can also be bent or occur in bush form. The wood is weather resistant, very hard and tough. Root burls are purchased by weight.


Due to the irregular grain considerable more power is required for machining. Smooth surfaces are difficult to produce. This problem is overcome to a certain extent by steaming before slicing.


Madrone Burl must be dried very slowly and carefully to take into account the problem of different shrinkage directions resulting from the wavy grain.


Surface treatment with all finishes is possible but calls for thorough pretreatment to obtain a smooth surface.


Joints with Madrone Burl are restricted to glues and screws but those can be produced without any problems.