Much like Ambrosia Maple and other forms of figured maple, Spalted Maple is technically not a specific species of Maple, but rather a general description of any type of Maple that has been allowed to begin initial stages of decay, and then subsequently dried (preventing further decay).
Spalted Maple (sanded)

Spalted Maple (sanded)

Spalted Maple (sealed)

Spalted Maple (sealed)

The partial decay, called spalting, gives the wood dark contrasting lines and streaks where fungus has begun to attack the wood. If the wood has been rescued from the spalting at the right time, the lumber should still be sound and usable, with little to no soft spots or rotten wood.

Maple

Tree Species

Type/Figure

  • Curly Pio

    The challenge I find is that the longer thewood is allowed to rot before harvesting, the more interesting and beautiful it becomes.
    Often the best looking pieces have decayed so far as to need a stabilizer before working.

    • GrnmtnVT

      What would you use/recommend as a stabilizer?

      • Robert

        What I found to work as a stabilizer as good as any other is ordinary wood glue mixed half with water. brush it on the rotten wood, let soak and leave overnight to dry.

  • Cimmay Rivard

    That’s interesting. There’s some acoustic guitars that use spalted Maple for back and sides.

  • Erin Ennis

    I was lucky enough to have a spalted maple come down in a wind storm in my back yard a few years ago. Since then, I’ve been able to pull a Ukulele (back/sides/top/neck) and Mandolin (back/sides/neck) from the logs we salvaged.

    I tried uploading a few pictures, but it seems my login only lets me post text.