Time req'd for spalting?

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Forum topic by jschmitz1949 posted 09-23-2016 03:51 AM 674 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 3261 days

09-23-2016 03:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple lathe bandsaw turning carving

Question for the masses…

Generally speaking, how long will it take for the organisms that cause spalting to take hold in a log? Everyday as I enter my place of work I pass a maple that fell in a storm this past spring. It fell in the road, and the city just pushed it aside because the lot is actually an abandoned farmyard. I expected it to be cut and removed, but it hasn’t been touched (yet). I’d like to take my chainsaw and a change of clothes one day to grab some chunks for turning – free blanks are the best blanks, but I would love to give them a chance to spalt if it’s feasible.


4 replies so far

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1599 days

#1 posted 09-23-2016 05:13 AM

I have no idea how long, but if it’s longer than last spring, I wonder if you look the log home, in whole or in pieces, and put it in your back yard, would any spalting continue? The idea is, to get it while the gettin’s good, then wait however much longer for a good spalt.

View MrUnix's profile


7043 posts in 2399 days

#2 posted 09-23-2016 05:39 AM

I imagine it depends a lot upon the species and location. Around here, I am surrounded by oaks and I’ve had them come down in a storm with some branches already spalted. Light spalting (around the outer edge of the wood) starts pretty quickly. For deeper spalting, it may take a few months or longer depending on how large it is and the weather (rain speeds up the process). The most important thing is to keep the log off the ground while you wait… otherwise it will rot quickly and become useless. This one was left out in the elements for almost a year before I started to cut it up into blanks (and then another year or so before they are dry enough to use):


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View TannerTurnings's profile


146 posts in 1627 days

#3 posted 09-26-2016 02:10 PM

In my limited experience, a lot depends on species, location, and humidity.
I would suggest cutting it into manageable sized pieces and taking it home. If there’s no spalting, put your pieces in plastic sacks with some garden compost for a few months, as this can induce spalting to start. :-)


-- Keith, Norfolk England. Why Burn it when you can Turn it??!!

View oldwood's profile


155 posts in 1444 days

#4 posted 09-27-2016 02:40 AM

I picked up some big pieces of maple this spring, not sure when but it had leafed out. Painted the ends and left them on an old trailer of the ground. We had a very wet and hot summer in South Ms. In cut a couple blocks up last week and them have quite a lot of spalting and still very wet but the color was pretty dull.

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