Sugar Maple Wood, also known as hard maple, is Vermont's most abundant species and a mainstay of many of Vermont's woodworkers. Maple heartwood is usually light reddish brown but sometimes considerably darker (dark maple is often mistaken for cherry wood). The sapwood is typically white with a slight reddish-brown tinge. Maple is heavy, strong, stiff, hard, and resistant to shock. It has a fine, uniform texture with generally straight grain, but variations such as birdseye, tiger, flame, curly, wavy, rippled or fiddleback grain occur and are often selected for specialty custom artisan furniture.
Ambrosia maple wood gets it's name from the ambrosia beetle. It comes from regular soft maple and hard maple trees that have been infested by the ambrosia beetle. The small beetle bores a network of tunnels and short galleries called cradles. A fungus is responsible for the blue, gray and brown streaks and decorative patch work that accompany each tunnel and adjacent wood. Another figured maple wood is spalted maple which has dark veins caused by a pattern of rot or bacteria in the wood. Spalted maple wood is very decorative as it often looks like a pen and ink drawing through the wood. Unless specified however, our furniture will be made with hard maple that has a generally straight grain, rather than with figured maple.
It is not uncommon to find different grain contrasts in the same piece of solid maple wood furniture. The lighter grain was closer to the tree’s bark (sapwood) and the slightly darker grain was closer to the tree’s center (heartwood). The contrast between heartwood and sapwood is usually not extreme-- for example it generally ranges from paper white to creamy white to tan. As you can see in this picture of a cross section of a maple tree, the contrast is much less than for a cherry tree.
Our craftsmen typically use maple wood that is grown right here in Vermont, as it is native to our Green Mountain Forest and grows in abundance here. Your maple furniture may well come from a sugar maple tree that was tapped for many years to produce sap for Vermont's world famous maple syrup.
Most of our handmade fine furniture is available in maple wood, even if it's shown in cherry, walnut or oak. Just select maple in the product's wood choice drop-down menu
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