Growing in the forests of the Karelian region of Finland is a variant of the silver birch. It is not an impressive tree, small in stature, often appearing as a bush or large shrub. Some of these unremarkable trees a have areas of thickened bark on their trunks – the only clue that these trees contain wood with the stunning Karelian birch figure.
The Karelian figure (also referred to as Karelian burl and Masur birch), is hard to describe given it’s unique to this species and its random appearance. Some say it looks like marble, others compare it to birds-eye maple or a dense burl figure. These descriptors don’t quite do it justice. I like to describe it as a sea of dark lined ‘sugar pops’ swimming on a lustrous undulating white background.