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What is Ambrosia Maple?

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Forum topic by fisherdoug09 posted 546 days ago 1797 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fisherdoug09

80 posts in 1173 days


546 days ago

Hi fellow Lumberjocks, a question, about Ambrosia Maple. I live in western Montana and have a very limited source of hardwood suppliers. I have seen over time many of you have made wood projects from Ambrosia Maple. I asked my local hardwood dealer about this and he has never heard of it. Is there another name for this wood? Its a beautiful wood and I would like to find a source for it. Thanks Doug


19 replies so far

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Bill White

3183 posts in 2459 days


#1 posted 546 days ago

As I understand it, the maple is “infected” by the ambrosia beetle which causes the coloring in the wood.
Hope this helps. Might wanna Google to get a more definitive answer.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1657 days


#2 posted 546 days ago

It’s maple that is affected by the ambrosia beetle once the tree is dying or dead. It leaves unique looking tunnels/figure in maple. The beetle affects other woods too, but people are most attracted to the maple.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Tennessee

1447 posts in 1013 days


#3 posted 546 days ago

Never heard it called anything but Ambrosia maple. Pretty common here in the South. Just a beautiful wood.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1657 days


#4 posted 546 days ago

BTW, you see more and more luthiers using it for their guitars, like in this back and side set here…

It’s kinda pretty when finished up.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1657 days


#5 posted 546 days ago

Yep,I know that some species of the ambrosia attack walnut and oak as well. I’m sure there are others. Maple is the common, pretty one.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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CharlieM1958

15539 posts in 2716 days


#6 posted 545 days ago

Another example:

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1657 days


#7 posted 545 days ago

Gorgeous, Charlie!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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SASmith

1489 posts in 1485 days


#8 posted 545 days ago

My local sawmill calls it wormy maple. Most ambrosia maple around here comes from Silver Maple. I have seen it in Sugar Maple and Sycamore too.
The discoloration is caused by ambrosia fungi which is carried by the ambrosia beetle.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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chrisstef

9324 posts in 1504 days


#9 posted 545 days ago

Ive heard it called wormy maple up here in new england as well. Great to work with and if you can find curly ambrosia maple its amazing looking.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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WDHLT15

981 posts in 974 days


#10 posted 545 days ago

I think that it is very beautiful. All the work of a little beetle and a hitchhiking fungus!

-- Danny, Located in Perry, GA, Forester, Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill

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huff

2721 posts in 1783 days


#11 posted 545 days ago

Another example of wormy maple (Ambrosia Maple).

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1657 days


#12 posted 545 days ago

Awesome box, John!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2224 posts in 849 days


#13 posted 545 days ago

Here is a quote from Wikipedia on the subject.

“Ambrosia beetles are beetles of the weevil subfamilies Scolytinae and Platypodinae (Coleoptera, Curculionidae), which live in nutritional symbiosis with ambrosia fungi and probably with bacteria. The beetles excavate tunnels in dead trees in which they cultivate fungal gardens, their sole source of nutrition. After landing on a suitable tree, an ambrosia beetle excavates a tunnel in which it releases spores of its fungal symbiont. The fungus penetrates the plant’s xylem tissue, digests it, and concentrates the nutrients on and near the surface of the beetle gallery. The majority of ambrosia beetles colonize xylem (sapwood and/or heartwood) of dying or recently dead trees. Species differ in their preference for different parts of trees, different stages of deterioration, in the shape of their tunnels (“galleries”).

So Ambrosia maple is wood from a tree that has had fungus introduced by the Ambrosia beetle, it creates a very striking and random patterns in the wood. Beautiful stuff.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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huff

2721 posts in 1783 days


#14 posted 545 days ago

Thanks Jay,

it’s actually a full size chest. I got the idea while making a band saw box one day.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1583 days


#15 posted 545 days ago

Have you tried Superior Hardwood, just before you get to Missoula on the south side of hwy 93? They have
a pretty good selection and are very knowledgeable. If you need special wood, they can order it. A friend
just got a good selection of long mahogany boards in to redo a Chris Craft he is restoring. Hope you are having
fun with your fishing, and that the smoke is finally gone from your valley for the year.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

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