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Illegal Burl Trade is threatening redwood survival.

It's not a special "ritual" that sees poachers snake into the Redwood National Park in California to saw off a block of a redwood which contains a burl: a burl is a tree growth in which the grain is developped in a deformed manner. It's commonly found as a rounded portions of the wood on a tree trunk or branch and it is filled with small knot from dormiant buds.

In trade, burls are very expensive, not only for their particular wood they are, but for their beauty and rarity and they are sought afetr by many makers, artists and wood sculptors.

The damage triggered by poachers are so serious that starting March 1, the Redwood National Park have closed and gated off the Netwon B. Dury Parkway, which flows in these protected lands.

The park spokesperson, Jeff Bromke, in a National Geographic's interwiev, said that he cannot reveal how many poachers have been arrested in the total area, but park law enforcement Laura Denny claimed hat she could recall only "two or three" over the past 12 years, by pointing the great widness of the territory that ranger must guard and the fact that poachers move quickly from a redwood to another one. 

A caought stealing wood could go against fenoly charges and prison time, thought the most recent cases have been misdemeanor fines.

The targeted redwoods ( sequoia sempervirens) are the tallest three in the Earth ( over 100  metres high) and they can live over 2.000 years. These ancient trees are a real treasure to protect.