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A burl is a growth on tree in which the grain has grown deformed. It's commonly found as a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk that is filled with small knots from dormant buds. Burls are formed when a tree undergoes some kind of stress, such as an injury, viral or fungal infection. The largest known burl grew to be nearly 8 meters across.
Spotted growing on an oak tree in a beautiful, mossy mixed forest.
Quality burls are prized for their beauty and rarity. They are sought after by furniture makers, artists, and wood sculptors. Because of their value, poachers often cut burls off of tree trunks using chainsaws, which exposes the tree to infection and disease.