The darker streaks are actually caused by a beetle. Ambrosia beetles infest soft maple trees leaving a larvae behind that bore a shallow channel and deposit a fungus in the wood which causes the discoloration. Hence, you might also find people in the industry referred to wormy soft maple as ambrosia maple. For our purposes, we categorize it all as one product.
We use the term wormy soft maple to describe soft maple with dark streaks throughout the board. It is important to note that these streaks occur in the species of maple that have the scientific name of Acer Rubrum.
Long ago, soft maple with these types of discoloration or streaks would have been considered less than desirable. It would have been downgraded and sold at a lower rate than upper grade soft maple lumber. That’s why it was a common request from manufacturers of furniture who used it for a sturdy foundation under upholstery.
Today, wormy soft maple has become more of a requested item. The worm like variations are now regularly considered a decorative feature, much like a rustic or character grade hardwood lumber product, and this feature is growing in demand and price.
Wormy soft maple lumber is not considered to be a lumber with defects. The oblong shaped color patterns that appear like worm holes are still structurally sound. When grading wormy soft maple, the streaks and pin holes that appear are not considered defects, hence its name soft maple worm holes no defects (WHND).
American Lumber sorts our wormy soft maple separately. We offer it as a special 2 Common & Better lumber product with nothing pulled out, a typical industry standard.
If you are interested in learning more please contact us today. And we promise, no worms!