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One of the most interesting things I've read about spalting, and I have no idea whether or not it's true, is that black-line spalting is the result of fungi wars. separate grows of fungi want to spread into each others territories and when they encounter each other, they fight to the death, and it's the zillions of dead fungi carcasses that are the black lines. So weird it may even be true.
Zone lines in spalted wood are barriers erected by fungi when it encounters another fungi of similar strength and sometimes when only one fungus is present. The lines aren't dead fungi but are mycelium...the vegetative state of the fungus. While black lines are the most common, they can be many colors...red, pink, green, yellow.

Live trees cannot spalt except for localized, damaged areas like the stub of a broken limb.

Sealing the end of a log will actually promote spalting as it helps the log retain moisture. The optimum conditions for spalting are 80 degrees F and above 20% MC...warm and moist.
 

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I understand you can spalt ash. Has anyone done so?
I think it is supposed to have a little different look than other types of trees that have spalted. But I have never seen spalted ash. Except for pictures on the internet.
The reason for the question is I seem to be in ash land right now. Everytime someone calls with a possible log it seems to be ash. Not complaining but I'm looking to be a little creative.
Any tips would appreciated.
Thanks,
Gerald
I have some spalted ash with a little curl in it. Your right, It does not spalt like you would think. Heres some pics
 

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bikeshooter
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Not so well. Got some coloration but had too much moisture. Not sure if I'll try again.
"too much moisture"? That give me reason to pause. I know there's a minimum level to encourage spalt but too much - I didn't think that was possible.

I'm gonna have a go at Dr. Robinson's method in the next month or so. Want to grow some cultures first. I have quite a bit of green magnolia I want to experiment with
 

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. . . One of the most interesting things I've read about spalting, and I have no idea whether or not it's true, is that black-line spalting is the result of fungi wars. separate grows of fungi want to spread into each others territories and when they encounter each other, they fight to the death, and it's the zillions of dead fungi carcasses that are the black lines. So weird it may even be true.

I've read several articles over on woodweb where Doc describes this very thing. As you said it's very interesting reading. Imagine being a cell and one of your fellow fungi cells comes screaming over the huge hills and valleys of the grain - "The Tramete Spores are coming! The Tramete Spores are coming! All Hyphae's form up! Call in all reserves from the Sap Regions to help us meet the threat!"

I just reread one of his articles to get some names of some of the spores I used in the previous paragraph, and I also remember reading that there's some forms of fungi that don't require different fungi to form lines. I couldn't find that article though. Some of them will fight amongst themselves and have what I could only call a "Civil War". I guess fungi haven't yet evolved as far as us peaceful humans. :blink:




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bikeshooter
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I onlyhttp://web.mac.com/kaysa_gabriel//Northern_Spalting/Northern_Spalting.html(I hope this is allowed) is a great source for information about spalting. This young lady is an expert on the subject and wrote a series of articles about it for Fine Woodworking Magazine. She also has detailed instructions for spalting your lumber.
The ladies name is Seri Robinson. The Fine Woodworking Magazine for which she wrote her article is issue #191 and is still available by online purchase for $8. I think she earned her doctorate with her spalting research.
 

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... The lines aren't dead fungi but are mycelium...the vegetative state of the fungus.
So up until the spalted wood is dried out to prevent further spalting, the lines are the vegetative state, and after that they are a dead state, or even when the wood is dried out they remain a vegetative state? I ask because I associate "vegetative" with the concept of "might come alive again", which I might have wrong.
 

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I would think the heat from kiln drying would kill the fungi - probably not the spores however. If the wood is air dried, it might very well come back if the conditions in the board or enviroment allowed it.

I asked this very question early on in my life here on this board (in this very forum actually) the responses that I got indicated to me that there wasn't much of a worry about it other than perhaps inhalation of mold spores. I'm still not entirely sure why spalting has such a following - but to each his own:boat:.

Personally I think it'd be hillarious to have some guy's spalted maple or walnut or something start sprouting mushrooms.
 

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So up until the spalted wood is dried out to prevent further spalting, the lines are the vegetative state, and after that they are a dead state, or even when the wood is dried out they remain a vegetative state? I ask because I associate "vegetative" with the concept of "might come alive again", which I might have wrong.
If you get the wood to about 25% MC and 80 degrees F, those "dead" spores will resume activity. They aren't dead but dormant. Also, if you spend any time in the woods in late summer, especially poking around among the leaf mold, you are inhaling thousands of them with every breath. Jus so you know. :eek:

Read Sara Robinson's blogs she wrote for FWW. You can access them through her site without buying the magazine. BTW, Seri is her nickname, Sara is her real name and yes, her Ph.D thesis was on spalted wood. She actually has a grant to study it now.

There is a lot of misinformation about spalted wood on the internet, especially on woodworking forums.
 
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