Thursday, April 21, 2022

Burl Thieves Strike Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2022 at 11:35 AM

click to enlarge The latest damage done by burl thieves. - CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
  • California State Parks
  • The latest damage done by burl thieves.
California State Parks rangers are asking for the public's help to identify burl thieves who recently struck in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the latest in a rash of incidents involving old growth redwood trees.

The most recent damage left a 4-foot by 3 foot by 2 foot gorge in the base of a tree.

"The redwood burl wood was poorly cut and would likely still be in multiple roughly  block pieces," a state parks release states.

According to the release, park rangers have identified a light-colored Ford F250, carrying two potential suspects, that was missing a license plate and the tail gate as the vehicle connected to this illegal cutting and others.
click to enlarge The suspect vehicle. - CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
  • California State Parks
  • The suspect vehicle.

Coveted by woodworkers for crafting everything from artisan bowls to clocks and coffee tables, old growth redwood burl can draw a hefty price, but trading in pilfered wood can come with a high cost — not just for a singular tree but also the species' future.

Most commonly found at the base but sometimes occurring higher up, burl is the main way redwoods reproduce — the other being by seed — with the knotty bulbs holding genetic tissue capable of sprouting an exact replica of the parent tree, known as a "clone."

Cutting off the burls can interrupt this propagation process and leave the trees vulnerable to disease and infection.

Anyone with information is asked to call Ranger Kuhnhofer at 946-1818 or the park's tip line at 946-1816.

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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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