Myrtle (Umbellularia, californica)
Trade Names: Myrtle, Pepperwood, Laurel
Origin: North America
Range: On the Pacific Coast of the USA, from Oregon in the north to Southern California. Myrtle is a species of the Laurel tree. The burl is a root burl which forms in the stump. The tree itself has no commercial significance. It is rather bushy in growth and is often found in woods growing in the valleys of hilly country.
Uses: High quality architectural woodwork, also used for furniture.
Properties: Since the Myrtle develops a dark heart, differentiation has to be made between those veneers without heart, which are yellowish in color, and those having a dark brown heart. This is why Myrtle Burl is also frequently stained to enable both forms to be used. The aromatic odor of the wood is most apparent.
Machining: Despite the burly texture it is very easy to work and smooth surfaces are produced by all methods.
Seasoning: As is the case with all burls, drying must be carried out very carefully but Myrtle is not highly prone to checking and warping.