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.

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saraSteve OndichKimberly CoxMonty McNeillBill Bagley Recent comment authors
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sara
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sara

Is this birds eye maple? it is from a soft maple.

Kimberly Cox
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Kimberly Cox

Is this a veneer?

Steve Ondich
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Because birdseye is so sought after, the logs with birdseye figure are often made into veneer. However, some logs are processed into lumber, as well. Generally speaking, the highest quality birdseye logs end up as veneers. Sometimes this presents a problem when woodworkers need lumber figure to match a veneer figure.

Rik
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Rik

Is there such a thing as a law against cutting down a Birdseye maple tree?? And, what might used Birdseye maple flooring (in, say, good shape) be worth?

Rik
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Rik

Is there such a thing as a law against cutting down a Birdseye maple tree? And, what might used Birdseye maple flooring be worth (in, say, “good” shape)?

Jake
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Jake

What type of maple are basketball courts made of

Monty McNeill
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Monty McNeill

We’ve compleated birds eye maple paneling job less than a year ago but now all the walls exposed to sunlight are turning green. Has any one else had this happen? The panels not exposed to sunlight are fine. We are replacing the green ones. Is this a problem with finish or veneer or what?

Kate Johnson
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Kate Johnson

My fiance is interested in getting his wedding band with grey birdseye maple. Does anyone know the durability of this type of wood?

Thomas L Brooks
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Thomas L Brooks

Do any of the maple species that grow in the Pacific Northwest develop birdseyes?

suzanne
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suzanne

my birdseye maple is dull. it does not have a glossy finish like my birdseye armoires. can I put a furniture oil on it?

Bill Bagley
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Bill Bagley

If it’s your floor you trying to shine, please don’t use oil. That will cause a contamination with any future floor finish. Your birdseye floor can be buffed & coated with a glossier sheen. A good cleaner like Bona floor care may help too.

nic payne
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nic payne

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

Kelley pedigo
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Kelley pedigo

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
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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.

Mike
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Mike

I agree birdseye maple.

Nicole Ongo
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Nicole Ongo

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!