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What is a Burl?

Jayson Ambrose will be exploring the North Island all summer.

Hi, I’m Jayson D. Ambrose, the guy behind One Canadian’s Journey which has received the honour of being featured on and awarded and recognized as one of the top three Canadian Travel Influencers.

I’m just one Canadian out and about, exploring the world around me and always looking for a new adventure, no matter how big or how small.

Sometimes I don’t even take a map, I go wherever the road takes me, or with a flip of coin I’m heading in totally different direction.

Whether I journey on foot, motorcycle, kayak, bicycle, converted camper van, it’s the amazing people I’ve encountered who never cease to amaze me.

Our world is filled with so many friendly beautiful souls and places, I had to share those experiences with you.

I try to inspire and encourage others to seek out their own adventures, big or small.

There are many positive reasons, inspirations, funny and exciting stories, however I just don’t want you to read about them, I want you to experience them (!

What is a burl?

A burl is the round knotting growth on a tree. It’s often used for handcrafted objects, due to its attractive figure when polished.

The World’s Largest Burls are all located on Vancouver Island in Port McNeill, and they do not come from a tree that you would expect.

The largest one, discovered in 2005 is approx six meters tall, six meters in diameter and weighs an estimated 30 tons! The 2nd largest, discovered in 1976, was from a 351 year old Sitka Spruce tree and weighs approx 22 tons!

The interesting fact about the two largest burls is that they don’t come from the most common type of tree (Redwood) that you would expect. These two odd balls are actually from Sitka Spruce trees.

Without realizing it, I had driven by it a couple times due to it’s not so blatant location. It’s located almost dead centre in the town, but protected by trees, bushes and a structure. If you go looking for it, you’ll see its location is not so obvious to the eye at first.

What also makes this a rare moment for my photos… I had to stand beside it just to give you a size comparison of just how big it really is.

Readers can reach Jayson at, he will be staying on the North Island all summer blogging about his daily activities.

Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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