Spalting Ash?

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Forum topic by Dustin posted 12-13-2016 02:04 PM 606 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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573 posts in 918 days

12-13-2016 02:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip ash

Thought I’d post this today after some experimentation (I’ll try to get pics up later if I can).
After a mild wind storm a few weeks ago, a buddy of mine informed me that a tree had come down in his neighborhood and offered me the lumber. It appears to be white ash (identical to an ash tree another acquaintance took down due to the emerald bore), and I’m just getting into bowls, so I jumped at the offer. I ended up with about 9 logs, appr 12-14” in diameter, from about 16-24” long.
After I took them home, I liberally applied primer to seal the ends (don’t have any green wood sealer, so I used what I had on hand) to prevent checking. After a couple of weeks, the logs have not checked/split, so I figured that did the trick. I considered leaving one side unsealed and putting them out back in contact with the gound (to see if I could get some spalting), but decided against it. I did, however, leave them outside in the elements, though on pavement.
We’ve been getting a fair amount of rain over the last few weeks, so I was curious if the added moisture, even just on the outside, would cause any spalting. To my pleasant surprise, I cut the first log into blanks the other day and found pretty consistent spalting throughout.
Anybody else take this approach to spalting lumber? The articles I’ve read all preach the “one unsealed side in contact with the earth” approach. Anybody else just seal the end grain and let the exterior get exposed to the weather?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

4 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile


2561 posts in 1565 days

#1 posted 12-17-2016 02:34 PM

I don’t have the patience to wait for wood to “rot” a little before using it. Most of the spalted wood I have came from trees that were rotting on the tree for a while or the firewood pile.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29975 posts in 2515 days

#2 posted 12-17-2016 02:45 PM

Spalted ash is beautiful. Various logs in leave to the weather for a couple years before sawing.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2690 days

#3 posted 12-18-2016 12:00 AM

I’ve Spalted ash before and have received already Spalted ash along with pecan and hackberry, I don’t bother with sealing I just set them up on their end in a corner of my backyard and cover with black plastic after I wet it. I have some pecan back there right now.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View MrUnix's profile


7009 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 12-18-2016 12:06 AM

Do it on a regular basis. I have woods all around me, and when a tree comes down that I’m interested in, I’ll just make sure it’s off the ground, or get it off the ground with some off-cuts if it is. If it needs to be moved due to location (near the house), then I’ll move it somewhere and put some off-cuts under it to keep it off the ground. Then I just wait a while and let nature take it’s course. No Ash around here though… mostly all Oak.


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

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