Turning Archive 2004
Mike Schwing from Md.
>I've been trying to find info on the "ambrosia maple" that many of us turn. It is commonly thought, at least around here, that the "ambrosia beetle" tunnels into the wood, injecting a fungus that they eat. It is thought, correctly, that this fungus discolors the wood and devalues the product (but not for turners). Searching the web for "ambrosia beetle" or "ambrosia maple" lead you to a ton of info on an ambrosia beetle that causes damage to mostly fallen trees with high sugar contents, but nowhere can I find evidence that it leaves tracks like we see.
However, if you look for "columbian timber beetle" (an AAW poster tipped me on that one), you will find exactly the types of tracks, and holes, that we see in our "ambrosia maple".
I'm no expert at all, but I find it interesting to learn about the animals that help produce such gorgeous wood for us.
Here's a link to info, with pics of damage and the beetle itself, about the columbian timber beetle.
If you have more info, by all means, please add it!