Ambrosia Maple

The  Ambrosia maple I work with is actually common Silver Maple that has been inhabited by the ambrosia beetle. The beetles do not attack the tree -- or even consume any of the tree's wood -- but merely burrow small tunnels into the tree in order to 'plant' a crop of nutritionally rich fungus. This fungus, which is known as "ambrosia" (thus, the name for both the beetle and the type of maple), grows on the walls of the worm-hole tunnels and provides sustenance to the beetles. The interaction between the fungus and the surrounding wood create the beautiful streaks that accompany each tunnel and adjacent wood. The streaks and patch work add a unique look to this hardwood without affecting its structural integrity.

Any residual fungus is destroyed in the making of the bowl and only the beautiful colouring remains. I fill any holes created by the tunnels with a food safe epoxy.

This is the pattern that appears in the end of an ambrosia maple log.