Latin Name: Arbutus menziesii
Common Name(s): Madrone, Pacific Madrone
Sources: Western coast of North America

Characteristics

Color tends to be a cream or pinkish brown color, but can also have dark red patches. Madrone is known for its burl veneer, which has many closely-packed clusters of knots and swirled grain.

Grain/ Texture

Grain tends to be straight, with a very fine and even texture.
 

Workability

Madrone is easy to work with machine and hand tools, and compares similarly to Hard Maple in working characteristics. The wood can be difficult to dry, and has a tendency to warp or twist. Madrone is an excellent turning wood, and also takes stains and finishes well. However, water-based glue joints should be thoroughly dry before further machining to avoid subsequent sunken glue lines.

Uses

Veneer, turned objects, and other small specialty objects.

Availability

Madrone is most often sold as burl veneer, which tends to be quite expensive. Madrone lumber, if available, is also expensive for a domestic wood species, easily costing more than other premium domestic hardwoods such as Cherry or Walnut: its price is likely to compare similarly to Myrtle, another Pacific-coast hardwood.