charme echauffe


Spalting is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi. Most often found in dying trees, spalting also occurs in healthy, thriving trees that might have at one time experienced stress of some sort. However it happens, the unique coloration and patterns of spalted wood are highly prized and sought after by woodworkers all over the world.

Described most often by zone lines, spalting usually presents as dark dotting or winding lines…thin streaks of red, brown, black, or white. Zone lines do not occur due to any specific type of fungus, but are instead visible interaction zones in which different fungi have erected barriers to protect their “territory”. Zone lines do not damage the wood, however, if not harvested in time, the fungi responsible for creating zone lines often continue their work until the tree exhibits full decay.

One more interesting note about spalting… harvesting a tree “in time” to take advantage of the high price commanded by spalted wood is always an accident. The spalted wood grain cannot be seen or predicted from outside the tree.