Spalted wood comes with many interesting patterns and stunning coloration due to fungi. This fungal activity creates intricate and unique patterns of dark lines or streaks, known as spalting. Although spalting can cause weight and strength loss, spalted wood is sought after by woodworkers as each piece is unique.

Although primarily found in dead trees, spalting can also occur in living trees under stress. We come across spalted timber from the trees we fell as part of our tree surgery business. Most of our timber comes from trees that have been felled due to either ill health, storm damage or because they have outgrown their intended space.

The distinctive patterns found in spalted wood typically come from dead or decaying wood. The fungi colonise the wood fibres, breaking it down and leaving behind pigmented areas. The resulting patterns vary widely depending on the type of fungi and the species of tree.

Spalted wood is suitable for a variety of uses in woodworking and crafting one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.

Suggestions of how to use spalted timber:

  • Furniture such as tables, chairs, cabinets and desks. 
  • Decorative items including bowls, vases, picture frames and sculptures. 
  • Turned objects such as pens, bowls, bottle stoppers, and other small decorative items can be created by woodturners.
  • Boxes and containers for storing jewellery or keepsakes. 
  • Musical instruments such as guitars, ukuleles and percussion instruments. 
  • Handles for knives and other tools.

Spalted wood, with its unique beauty, makes it a highly sought-after material for woodworking and crafting projects. The spalting patterns will add visual interest and character to your finished piece and it is especially striking when turned on a lathe.

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Whether you are planning on using your spalted wood to create a unique table top or a decorative piece of furniture, check out our online shop for inspiration, and start creating your next wooden masterpiece.

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Spalted Elm #086

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