Birdseye Maple is not technically a distinct species of Maple, but rather, it’s a figure that’s occasionally found in Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) trees. It’s named “birdseye” (sometimes simply written out as: Bird’s Eye Maple) because the figure resembles small bird’s eyes.


Birdseye Maple

Birdseye Maple


Birdseye Maple (bookmatched veneer)

Birdseye Maple (bookmatched veneer)


Birdseye Maple (23" x 8.5")

Birdseye Maple (23″ x 8.5″)

 

  The figure is reportedly caused by unfavorable growing conditions for the tree. The Sugar Maple attempts to start numerous new buds to get more sunlight, but with poor growing conditions the new shoots are aborted, and afterward a number of tiny knots remain. Birdseye Maple is frequently sold in veneer form, but solid lumber is available as well. Being tiny knots, the birdseye figure is most noticeable and pronounced on flatsawn pieces of lumber.

Maple

Tree Species

Type/Figure

7 Comments

  1. nic payne May 16, 2018 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Would this also be birdseye maple? It looks very similar except it has dark spots throughout, which I have not noticed in Birdseye maple.

  2. Kelley pedigo April 23, 2018 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I acquired a large slab of maple, it has sharp knobby protrusions all around the bark side, it’s punky in the middle, rotting. I think it’s a Maple Burl wood, the grain is beautiful, maybe a tiger maple ?

    • Bob Card May 30, 2018 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi Kelly – that sounds to me like it might be Big Leaf Maple. It will have more reddish color than Hard Maple or Soft Maple, and a lot of character in the grain. Big Leaf Maple grows in the Pacific Northwest, unlike the other varieties, which are more commonly found in the Eastern US and Canada. Here’s a picture of a table I made with Big Leaf Maple.

  3. Mike April 15, 2018 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I agree birdseye maple.

  4. Nicole Ongo February 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Hi, wondering if you can help me identify this wood? I’m thinking it’s birds eye maple, but I’m not 100% sure. The table is at least 65 years old. I recently inherited this table from my late grandmother, it had about 10 layers of paint/varnish on it. I used Circa1850 paint remover today and (after lots if elbow grease) this lovely grain was revealed!

    • Eric February 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      I agree that birdseye maple is the most probable candidate.

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