What is the Real Value of Tree Burl?

Tree Burl

If you are an outsider to woodworking, you might fail to understand the actual value of tree burl. Besides, you might shy away from buying burl wood, thinking it has little use in woodworking because of its irregular grain patterns. Yet, if you are a woodworking expert, you would feel you’ve acquired a nugget of gold if you got access to a burl wood. The reason is that you understand well burl wood’s actual value. 

The burl wood market is not yet well organized, and burl woods don’t have standardized prices. So, you might get confused about its pricing. Moreover, the main driving force in the burl wood market is still the law of supply and demand. Thus, burl wood prices vary and range between $25 to $25,000 depending on the quality of the burl wood.

Understanding the Burl Wood Value & Price in Detail

As mentioned above, burl wood’s price depends on its quality. A burl wood with a diameter of eight feet may cost around $500. However, the most elaborate burl wood may fetch approximately $25,000. The average burl price per pound, however, is $2 per pound, while a raw burl wood price will cost anywhere between $1.8 per pound to $2 per pound. 

The price of the burl wood, likewise, depends on the wood species from which it got taken. Oak burl, for example, may cost around $6 per board foot to $15 per board foot, while Walnut burl wood may cost anywhere from $5/pound, with the full burl costing up to $3,000. 

On average, the burl price for every board foot for straight grain burls is around $10, while curly burls may fetch at $15. On the other hand, bird’s-eye burls may cost around $25 per board foot. On the other hand, the lace burls may cost $35 per board foot. 

How Can You Assess the Price of Wood Burl?

When evaluating the wood burl’s value, it will help to consider several essential factors. This way, you will know how much you can sell your burl wood or how much you should pay for one. Remember that you seldom purchase good quality burl wood at a lower price. So, to fill you in on these factors, you can check out the following essential factors to consider about burl wood:

Burl’s Size

The dimension of the burl would undoubtedly impact the selling price of burl wood. A larger burl would indeed have a higher price. So, if you have a big burl wood piece, you can demand a higher price. Similarly, if you want to buy a huge burl, you can expect to pay more. Besides, if you intend to buy a larger burl wood, you can ask the seller to cut it to the desired dimensions if it has not yet been cut. 

Bark’s Presence

Another factor you need to consider when buying burl is the presence of bark. If you intend to buy a burl wood and its bark is already gone, it might be indicative of insect infestation and decay. So, check if the bark is still intact because the presence of bark indicates that the wood is still not squishy. 

Burl’s Species

The price of the burl wood also depends on the wood species from which it got taken. Remember that the value of wood gets also dictated by the type of tree species from where it got harvested. Similarly, burl wood is wood, and its price gets impacted by its species. 

Burl with Eyes

Upon reading this, you might misconstrue that burl wood has eyes similar to those of humans. Yet, it is not the case. Burl’s eye is somewhat not similar to the iris of the eyes. It has a circular form resembling a swirling galaxy. You can easily spot this eye, and any burl with this eye can be more valuable. 

You will find this burl type in dome form likewise, and once you cut open this dome-shaped burl, you will see the eye at the center of the wood grain. Thus, this wood gets valued for its exquisite design. Burl slabs with eyes offer dramatic and stylish patterns that can surely enhance your woodworking projects. You can also emphasize and highlight these eye-like designs of the burl wood.

Layered Burl

Another factor that can augment the value of burl wood is the layers of the burl. A layered burl indicates that the tree tried to seal off any damaged parts or sections. You will find the shapes and sizes of these layered burls varying, and they come with attached bark. 

These burls are pretty dense and thick. Likewise, the grain patterns are very tense, exhibiting the effort of the tree to protect itself from damage. 

Wood Grain

The value of burl wood increases as its wood grain becomes more unique and intricate. So, if you have a burl wood with a complex grain pattern, you can ask for a higher price. Remember that the layered burl is less expensive than the eye burl with swirling patterns. 

The wood grain pattern impacts the worth and value of burl wood regardless of the species of wood you are selling or buying. So, it is but reasonable to expect burl wood with excellent grain patterns to fetch higher than those with ordinary layered burls.

Moisture Content of the Wood

Wet wood will surely not fetch high in the market simply because you can’t use it immediately. You must season it to make it worthwhile, and seasoning wood is time-consuming and effortful. Thus, if you sell wet lumber, even if it has burl, it will be less than its actual price when it is seasoned. So, the dryness of the wood and its readiness for use will definitely affect the cost of the wood.

How To Sell Wood Burl?

If it is your first time selling burl wood, you might be at a loss as how to set its price reasonably and sell it afterward. As mentioned above, you must consider several factors when pricing your burl wood. Besides, it will help if you feel your target market. 

If your target market includes wood turners, you must sell them by species and per pound. The reason is that woodturners want to cut and size their wood before turning it. So, they are very particular about the size and species of the wood.

However, if you sell burl wood to crafters, it will help reduce them into slabs and set the price according to the wood grain’s intricacy and the wood species. With such advice, you can quickly inventory your burl wood and categorize them accordingly. 

Furthermore, if you are involved in harvesting burl wood, you can set prices for it according to its weight, species, and size. Burl wood, of course, is heavy when you first harvest it. Thus, you need to cut it first into manageable pieces for easy transport. 

When cutting burl wood, however, you should refrain from cutting them more than what the customer wants to buy. Otherwise, their prices may diminish if you cut them beyond your customers’ limits. Moreover, it will help if you check the market price of burl wood or ask around to know how it gets priced in the market. 

Specific buyers would be apt to negotiate prices. Some would even entice you to swap your burl wood for their wood. So, if you’re well informed about the current prices of burl wood, you can make a reasonable asking price that would not put you at the losing end of the bargain. 


To an untrained eye, burls are simply deficiencies in the wood that are not valuable. Yet, to the trained eye, burl wood means higher asking price for your wood. As mentioned above, you can only have a ballpark price range for burl wood, but its real value will become clear once they are used, polished, and displayed. 

Wood burls, of course, tell us about the struggle of a tree to save itself from damage. As such, even if you are not a woodworker, it will be best to know that burls tell a story, that somewhere in the past, the tree struggled to save itself from demise or damage. Knowing this will let us value more the burl wood. 

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