What is Birdseye Grain?
Birdseye Grain is a pattern of small “eyes” in the burl grain of a slab. Because of this unique look, it is a highly desirable grain in burl wood.
As you can see, it is found in Redwood, but it may also be found in maple. There is a higher rate of Birdseye in maple compared to redwood which makes redwood that much more desirable.
In addition, many see it as an interesting characteristic due to the unique way burl forms.
How is it formed?
Birdseye grain, like most burl, is formed under extraordinary circumstances.
In short, burl is a growth on the side of a tree that forms from saplings. Often, trees have no burls because these saplings do not form. This is due to the stress required to start growing the saplings and burls. This stress causes these unique patterns. Interestingly, while there is actually not a definitive understanding of which patterns are caused by which stresses, it is assumed that disease plays a large role in the formations.
What is the difference between Birdseye and other burl grains?
Of course, Birdseye is only one of many types of burl grain. There is lace burl, curly grain, straight grain, and fiddle-back or tiger-stripe grain. Luckily, there is an article we wrote detailing all the different kinds of burl grain.
More Resources on Birdseye and Burl Grain
Birdseye and burl grain in general are fascinating. We have a great blog on Burl Wood in general that goes over all you could want to know about burl wood. If a good book is your jam, our friend and partner Adam Dias wrote the definitive Redwood Burl Book that goes in-depth on the history of the burl wood industry and the types of burl woods. We won’t judge you if maple is more your speed, so that resource is available as well!