Burrs (burl in America) occur as dense concentration of knots or other growths which show a pattern of swirls in the grain when sawn. They are prized for veneers and woodturning. They result from some form of stress, possibly insect or fungal attack, and usually occur on trunks, but also underground.

Oak burr
An oak burr growing by the Falls of Acharn

Oak burr, Acharn

Oak burr. Falls of Acharn,
by Loch Tay, Perthshire.

A good metalled, steep, track on the west of the stream leads you up to the falls from the roadside in the village. Perhaps half a mile. You can then circle round the top of the falls, or cut in front of them on a wooden bridge. On the East side you descend through ancient native woodland, including oak, beech and birch.

We visited in late October, on a grey but fine day. Fallen leaves in every shade of orange added to the splendid colouring and atmosphere. At this time of year Dougie Maclean runs his Perthshire Amber music festival at venues around Dunkeld. A visit to woods like these makes the reason for the festival name obvious.

Photo: S Fearnley October 2012

Other burrs

burr willow
Burrs on a willow in the churchyard at Lastingham, North Yorkshire

Willow, Lastingham

Other burrs

burr ash
Burrs on an ash by the lake at Nostell Priory

Ash, Nostell Priory

Mulberry trunk at Hall Croft in Stratford on Avon

Mulberry, Stratford

Oak burr at Wallington
Oak burrs in the woods at Wallington Hall

Oak, Wallington

Mulberry tree
Mulberry tree with burrs, at Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford on Avon

Mulberry, Stratford

Chestnut burr
One of many burrs on an old sweet chestnut, Yorkshire Arboretum

Chestnut, Y. Arboretum

More on Yorkshire Arboretum

oak burr
Oak burrs at Antony House in Cornwall

Oak, Antony

More from Antony House