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What's Your Theory?

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  • What's Your Theory?

    Birdseye Maple.

    I have a couple of books on Wood, and have read several articles on the species. It seams no one can nail down for certain what causes the phenomyna.

    So I'd like to ask each of you your theory of why some maple trees are, and most are not. I have 2 of my own, which I'll gladly share. Laugh at will, but after a century, it's still a mystery.

    Theory one is: It's a species of it's own. A high bread of nature, causing a tree to want to sprout branches everywhere, but not having the resouces to do so. Following the eye, it continues through each growth ring, but never developes.

    Theory two: Being a sap tree that is harvested to make maple syrup, it's a chemical imballance, or some other minural that causes the sap to generate a crystal similar to suger, and is lodged in the meat of the tree, causing a brooze, that continues through the years. As the sap generates through the years, it infects the next years growth and broozes it continuously.

    Other theorys have it that's it's a paracite, or fungus, even a disease. One suggested it's cause was due to acid rain, however, that was thrown out because before there was acid rain, there was Birdseye Maple.

    If you haven't had the chance to work with it, try a small project. Cut through a birdseye in all directions to see how it works. It's actually like a small knot.

    So what's your theory?
    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

  • #2
    From the Shaker Workshop Site:
    The cause of the "bird's eyes" is a fungus which feeds on cells under the bark causing depressions in the wood - although the wood looks textured, it is perfectly smooth.
    Another site stated that it rarely occurs in "Hard" Maple.
    Maybe so, I really don't know.

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    • #3
      I disagree totally.
      Mill some birdseye, it does not mill smooth, heavy tear out unless you have ultra sharp knifes. It is not depressions, more like abnormal growth, similar to a starting branch, a knot if you will. Circular growth pattern around the birdseye. Grain direction fastly various.

      Fungus growth has not been ruled out, nor has it been accepted as the cause. If it is, it has not been identified, or replicated in a controlled enviroment.

      Birdseye is common in Hard Maple, curly in soft. Thus the broozing is more prominent in hard, less in soft. (My theory)

      The Mystery continues...

      What's your Theory?

      [ 07-19-2003, 12:17 AM: Message edited by: UO_Woody ]
      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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      • #4
        I would love to know the answer on this one as both patterns are very unusual...I got no clue, but anxiously wait the definitive answer (if there is one).
        Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"http://www.hannawoodworks.com\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>

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        • #5
          God created it for us to wonder about and enjoy!!

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