|Forum topic by coloradoclimber||posted 08-31-2009 04:09 PM||7924 views||0 times favorited||19 replies|
08-31-2009 04:09 PM
I’ve been working with some spalted maple lately and posted some projects, tapered box and letter box. It was commented that maybe the wood I was using was ambrosia maple instead of spalted maple. I did some “quick” research and this is my conclusion. I’m interested if anyone else has more specifics or wants to weigh in.
After some “quick” research, so don’t hold be too strongly to this:
I could not find a formal definition for spalting but the consensus seems to be something like:
”Spalting is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi.”
”Spalting is caused by the infections of wood with various kinds of white rot fungi. The characteristic blue-black zone lines of spalted wood form when incompatible colonies of fungi come into contact with each other and lay down barriers to separate their territories.”
I also read:
”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.”
So based on this my take is spalting is the more general term. A fungus discolored wood is spalted. How the fungus got there is more specific. It sounds like the ambrosia beetle carries a particular fungus that it likes and that fungus causes splating. From my read it doesn’t sound like the boring so much causes the discoloration as the fungus spores carried along by the beetle as it bores around.
So I would say this maple is spalted. It may be the particular spalting comes from the fungus carried by the ambrosia beetle so it might be more precise to say ambrosia maple but my read is that spalting is a more general term and is correct.
An interesting side note:
”Dark dotting, winding lines and thin streaks of red, brown and black are known as zone lines. This type of spalting does not occur due to any specific type of fungus, but is instead an interaction zone in which different fungi have erected barriers to protect their resources”
”Also known as sapstain, or in its most common form, bluestain, this type of spalting occurs when the darkly-pigmented fungal hyphae grow in the sapwood parenchyma of a tree”