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Thread: origin of bird's eye maple?

  1. #1
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    origin of bird's eye maple?

    Where does bird's eye maple come from? Is it a different specie of maple? Is it due to the growing conditions of the maple tree? Is it from a special place (e.g. near the sapwood) or from special sawing method of a maple tree? Thanks.

    James

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    No one has been able to come up with a fully acceptable reason behind the grain pattern and it shows up in several trees but mostly in the hard maple family.

  3. #3
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    According to wisegeek dot com:
    Birdseye maple isn't a variety or species of maple, but rather a phenomenon that occurs within several kinds of timber due to an unknown cause. Perhaps the valuable anomaly showcases wood's reaction to a fungal or viral infection, genetic mutation, bird pecking, climate change, soil conditions, growth history, or some other mysterious element.
    And wikepedia:
    It is not known what causes the phenomenon. Research into the cultivation of bird's eye maple has so far discounted the theories that it is caused by pecking birds deforming the wood grain or that an infecting fungus makes it twist. However, no one has demonstrated a complete understanding of any combination of climate, soil, tree variety, insects, viruses or genetic mutation that may produce the effect.

    Consider the sources. But it seems like nobody really knows what causes it.

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    It's simple...gremlins.

    Another explanation: Keebler Elves plant them in trees they occupy.
    I drink, therefore I am.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Baker SD View Post
    Where does bird's eye maple come from? Is it a different specie of maple? Is it due to the growing conditions of the maple tree? Is it from a special place (e.g. near the sapwood) or from special sawing method of a maple tree? Thanks.

    James

    I dont have any idea what causes it, but often bird's eye veneer presents better figure than solid birds eye stock. Its one of a few types of wood that actually look better as a rotary sawn veneer than a sliced veneer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Quinn View Post
    Its one of a few types of wood that actually look better as a rotary sawn veneer than a sliced veneer.
    I meant to mention that but forgot. It is one of the veneers I will order instead of shop cut just for that reason.

  7. #7
    Bird's eye hard maple is fairly common here in Michigan's UP. I've discussed this with a number of loggers and consulting foresters over the years and while no one seems to know what causes it, the prevailing opinion seems to be that bird's eye is more likely to be present in trees/stands that are growing in stressful conditions, e.g., poor soil, high stem density, etc. I think (but am not certain) that more bird's eye is harvested in the western part of the UP where the maple is trying to grow in solid rock compared with the central part of the UP where soild conditions are better. Please take this info for what it's worth as it's based on heresay and I have no empirical data to support it.

    However if the "stressful conditions" theory holds water, then I would expect there'd be relatively more bird's eye found in, say, New Hampshire - the Granite State, but I don't know if that is true. Is anyone aware of any statistics regarding the annual production of bird's eye from various regions/states? That would be interesting.

    Archie

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