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Ambrosia vs spalted vs silver maple

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 03-06-2021 02:00 PM 392 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trsnider

254 posts in 3060 days


03-06-2021 02:00 PM

I have been puzzled over the different names (you say toe-may-to I say just eat it already :) ). The local yard I buy this from calls this silver maple. But after some webbing I’m tempted to call this Ambrosia Maple or maybe spalted maple. I don’t think it’s spalted. I also think it’s something more than just silver maple and that it could be ambrosia. What do y’all think?
Thanks!


9 replies so far

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ibewjon

2347 posts in 3844 days


#1 posted 03-06-2021 02:17 PM

I would definitely say spalted, based on the black fungus lines. But the type of maple could be silver, or norway, or many others. Be sure to wear a good respirator because the spores in the wood can lead to breathing problems and allergies. Nice to look at but it can be nasty stuff.

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woodsmithshop

1423 posts in 4596 days


#2 posted 03-06-2021 02:30 PM

Silver Maple is a species of Maple, it is a soft Maple. Spalting is caused by a fungus, it can occur in different types of wood. Ambrosia Maple is a general term attached to a variety of Acer (true maple) species whose boards included colorful bug “trails” — caused by a fungus carried by the Ambrosia Beetle which penetrates the tree sap as the beetle eats into the tree, and it spreads both through the worm hole and up and down in the tree.

-- Smitty!!!

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Knockonit

793 posts in 1252 days


#3 posted 03-06-2021 02:33 PM

wow, a rose by any other name, wished we could find product like that here in Az, can’t say i’ve ever seen this , other than the ambrosia maple, absolutely beautiful
thanks
rj in az

-- Living the dream

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trsnider

254 posts in 3060 days


#4 posted 03-06-2021 02:51 PM

I wear a wear a mask cutting this stuff. Normally wood dust doesn’t bother me but cutting this stuff isn’t very pleasant.

I’m fairly confident this is silver maple since that’s what the mill calls it. There are some worm holes but not many so it’s probably spalted.

The stuff is gorgeous and the Etsy folks seem to like it. I’m going to put the 1/4” thick resawn cutoffs I posted up and see if they sell as “craft boards”. I couldn’t see making all this chips through the planer. I’m too frugal. Somone out there has a use for them.

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CaptainKlutz

4325 posts in 2545 days


#5 posted 03-06-2021 03:08 PM

Silver maple is soft maple that is easy damaged with fungus.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/maple,%20soft.htm
Hence, Lumberyard classification is correct.

Ambrosia maple has wide range of colors and distinct ‘bug track’ patterns:
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/maple,%20ambrosia.htm

Spalted maple is less color full, and fungus or soft area follow along grain lines.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/maple,%20spalted.htm

Links above hold images for different types.
The pictures look like spalted maple to me.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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Lazyman

6925 posts in 2438 days


#6 posted 03-06-2021 03:14 PM



Silver Maple is a species of Maple, it is a soft Maple. Spalting is caused by a fungus, it can occur in different types of wood. Ambrosia Maple is a general term attached to a variety of Acer (true maple) species whose boards included colorful bug “trails” — caused by a fungus carried by the Ambrosia Beetle which penetrates the tree sap as the beetle eats into the tree, and it spreads both through the worm hole and up and down in the tree.

- woodsmithshop

+1. Splating is actually just relatively early stages of rot and the discoloration is more generalized like your pictures and often occurs when wood has been sitting on the ground and stays wet. The longer it has been rotting, the softer and punkier the wood may be. Ambrosia is usually characterized by dark streaks, usually originating around several beetle holes, and the wood is usually still pretty hard because the beetles usually attack live trees or at least ones still standing. I have a piece of hickory where ambrosia beetles attacked a standing tree which looks pretty amazing too. This is pretty classic ambrosia maple from the wood-database website:

An interesting thing (to me anyway) that I once read is that the beetle larvae are actually eating the ambrosia fungus that line the tunnels and not the wood. If I remember correctly, the female does most if not all of the boring into the tree and the fungus spores are deposited from her shell as she bores in to lay eggs.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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bigJohninvegas

977 posts in 2512 days


#7 posted 03-06-2021 03:38 PM

An interesting thing (to me anyway) that I once read is that the beetle larvae are actually eating the ambrosia fungus that line the tunnels and not the wood. If I remember correctly, the female does most if not all of the boring into the tree and the fungus spores are deposited from her shell as she bores in to lay eggs.

- Lazyman

Interesting, and not to change the subject, but I have this cherry burl that was full of carpenter ants. (Unknown to me at the time when I bought it that they were still in there).
But, I learned that the ants do not eat the wood, but bore into it to create there home.


Silver maple is soft maple that is easy damaged with fungus.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/maple,%20soft.htm
Hence, Lumberyard classification is correct.

Ambrosia maple has wide range of colors and distinct bug track patterns:
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/maple,%20ambrosia.htm

Spalted maple is less color full, and fungus or soft area follow along grain lines.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/maple,%20spalted.htm

Links above hold images for different types.
The pictures look like spalted maple to me.

- CaptainKlutz

Klutz, great explanation of the differences.

-- John

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OnhillWW

299 posts in 2283 days


#8 posted 03-06-2021 04:06 PM

“But, I learned that the ants do not eat the wood, but bore into it to create there home. “

That is correct and they will leave the wood once the wood dries out, i.e. they need damp wood. That is why if you start seeing carpenter ants in your home you had better start looking for wet wood, roof leaks, leaking pipes or toilet etc. Note, a lot of ants can be found in the home so be sure that they are carpenter ants before you get too worried.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

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Knockonit

793 posts in 1252 days


#9 posted 03-13-2021 06:39 PM

I ordered some of the 1/4 inch panels and boy howdy waht a bootiful pc of nature, thanks for the opportunity, need to order the 4/4 stuff now. have some ideas for this one
thanks
rj in az

-- Living the dream

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