Spalting is any kind of wood coloration caused by fungi. In New England, where we grow our Maple trees, the Ambrosia beetle is often the culprit, boring into the wood of Maples and creating a pathway for fungi to follow. Hence our term “Ambrosia Maple” for this unique spalted wood. Note that the coloration does not in any way affect the soundness of the wood.
A fungus can spread up and down a tree, following the vessels in the wood. The result is a distinctive gray to brown streaking against the creamy white Maple wood, accented by the “eyes” of the beetle tunnels. Ambrosia Maple is sometimes called “ghost” maple because the eyes of the beetle tunnels appear ghostly against the streaks.