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Ambrosia Maple, Can it be indentified standing?

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Forum topic by BigJon posted 12-28-2012 07:36 PM 861 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BigJon

14 posts in 675 days


12-28-2012 07:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple

Im not sure where Ambrosia Maple can be found, Im in Central Kentucky and have several hundread acres of farm land with lots of standing timber. What is the current range of the beetle? I don’t even know if its in my area or not. And is there a way to tell if a tree has been infested with the critter without felling it? Such as holes in the bark or leaf discoloration? I have been searching but have found no real information concerning this! Thanks!

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....


9 replies so far

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Arminius

304 posts in 2469 days


#1 posted 12-28-2012 08:53 PM

From what I understand, the infestations are normally on dead or dying trees.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2954 posts in 952 days


#2 posted 12-28-2012 09:09 PM

From HobitHouse Wood.
“Ambrosia” is a term applied to maple when it has been infested by the ambrosia beetle. I do not know for sure if it is limited to any particular ones of the 60+ species of the genus Acer that are sold as various types of maple, but I do know that it occurs in big-leaf (aka red) maple (Acer rubrum) and that it is often listed as “wormy soft maple” (and A. rubrum is one of the two main maples listed as “soft maple”, the other one being A. saccharinum) so generally I would expect ambrosia maple to be A. rubrum or A. saccharinum, but I doubt it is limited to those two species.

The fungus is eaten by the beetle and then gets into the tree sap when the beetle eats into the tree, and it spreads both through the worm-hole and up and down in the tree (carried along by the sap) and causes discoloring of the wood in streaks. It is these streaks which are so desirable to woodturners as it produces a beautiful pattern in the wood which is clearly seen when the wood is turned on a lathe.

This kind of insect attack / wood figure is not limited to maple, but that is the wood in which it is most well known.

The number of beetle holes will vary from very few up to what looks like a major infestation, as you can see from the pics on this page.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/maple,%20ambrosia.htm

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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ksSlim

984 posts in 1555 days


#3 posted 12-28-2012 09:15 PM

The attached web url has pictures of the ambrosia fungus on nursery stock.
Worth a look. About half way down first page.

http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/programs/nursery_crop_production.shtml

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1140 posts in 1141 days


#4 posted 12-29-2012 03:18 AM

”And is there a way to tell if a tree has been infested with the critter without felling it?”

No. It is a surprise when you open up the log. Most logs do not have it.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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Wdwerker

333 posts in 899 days


#5 posted 12-29-2012 04:34 AM

Check with your county extension agent. They would know if there was any beetle activity in your area and how to tell if a tree had been affected. Still gonna be a crap shoot as to how much of the fungus streaks might be in the wood.

I got a few planks of ambrosia maple with burl patches from the downfall pile at my local lumbermill cheap. The planer had torn the grain to shreds. Many passes through the drum sander and I have some 3/8 thick stock for door panels and box tops.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

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JNP

106 posts in 1243 days


#6 posted 12-29-2012 04:59 AM

The Rockler in town here has it on sale for $4.00 bd/ft. Very interesting wood/

-- Jeff

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WDHLT15

1140 posts in 1141 days


#7 posted 12-29-2012 01:09 PM

Ambrosia beetles are actually very common and are found almost everywhere is the US. They attack weakened or stressed trees. That is how they make their living. Since they are not a bark beetle, they bore into the wood, not the inner bark, and an ambrosia beetle attack is not fatal unless it occurs with some other agent, like bark beetles.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14344 posts in 1004 days


#8 posted 12-29-2012 02:31 PM

Interesting thread. Of course now I have to start bringing home maple trees. :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1597 posts in 1653 days


#9 posted 12-29-2012 06:51 PM

It must be more common here than most places.
Last time I bought silver maple over 1000 feet of the 1300 feet I bought was ambrosia.
My favorite is spalted ambrosia maple.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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