On a Thanksgiving visit to Giles County, Va., we met Allen Neely, a true mountain man who shared his passion for tree burls.
A burl is an abnormality in which bud cells have grown in a chaotic manner, dividing in many directions to create a spherical shape.
Burls are commonly found in the form of rounded outgrowths or bumps on a tree trunk or branch.
Other burls grow attached to roots beneath the ground, and may not be discovered until the tree dies or falls.
Almost all burl wood is covered by bark even if it is underground.