Spalted Maple: Nature’s Penmanship

Spalted maple is a highly coveted look for a beautiful accent piece. Spalting is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the early stages of wood decay. It gives the wood dark contrasting lines and streaks where fungus has began to attack the wood. Spalting is seen as beautiful displays of dark lines running through the wood when caught at the perfect time. Spalting occurs in various types of wood including Beech, Birch, and Poplar, but is most beautifully and commonly seen in Maple.

Why is maple best?

Maple is the preferable choice; its white sapwood acts as a blank canvas for the fungi to display their decaying magic. The appearance of spalting can vary from very thin lines to very thick and dramatic lines. The appearance depends on how long the period was before it was sawn or kiln dried. The lines created can be likened to pens on canvas: thickness may vary as may the lines created.

Additionally, spalting is not unique to a specific species of maple. Rather, it is any species of maple that has begun the stages of decay. In fact, it is vital to process the wood soon enough to maintain physical integrity. Decaying wood can become too fragile to use as furniture. If caught at the right stage, the beautifully spalted pieces can be transformed into tables, shelves, and any sort of accent piece.

Does working with decaying wood create poor working conditions for woodworkers? Fortunately, working with Spalted Maple poses no higher of a risk than with any other wood. With this excellent news, why not consider adding uniquely marked Spalted Maple accents to your next wood piece, or an entire piece on its own!

We can set you up with The Axe and Adze to create some custom pieces for your home or cottage.

Spalted maple table
Finished spalted maple table top

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