what is ambrosia maple wood

Ambrosia maple, also known as wormy maple, is a general classification for maple lumber.  It's used to describe a variety of Acer (true maple) species that have color bug trails throughout the board.  These trails can cause stripes similar to those on a tiger.  Ambrosia maple is highly desirable for crafts, specialty wood items, veneer, and furniture.

Ambrosia Maple Image Gallery

What Causes The Worm Patterns in Ambrosia Maple?

Ambrosia maple gets it's unique grain pattern from impregnated Ambrosia Beetles that burrow into maple trees to deposit larvae.  They carry fungi on their feet into the maple wood, which serves as food for the offspring when they hatch.  The residue left behind as the beetle digs into the maple tree causes the discoloration and worm holes in the wood.  These trails are bluish or green and give the wood a lot of character once it's finished.

Are These A Concern For Finished Pieces?

The wormholes are not a concern for finished pieces.  These beetles typically are attracted to wood that has started air drying.  Once the wood is kiln dried, they will not reinfest.  Just about any lumber you buy at a hardware store is going to be kiln dried, so the bugs should not be an issue.

Where To Find Ambrosia, or "Wormy" Maple?

Wormy maple can be purchased a many stores that specialize in hardwood lumber.  Simply do a search for your area and you'll likely be able to find a hardwood lumber company that has this in stock.  If you're looking for ambrosia maple wood slabs, we have them in stock.  Shop our maple slabs online now.


  1. EMILY SKELTON on May 6, 2023 at 7:41 pm

    I have three 5′ live edge slabs of the ambrosia maple wood. It was just cut 2 days ago. I plan on air drying these slabs for projects later. Do I need to treat the wood with some type of pesticide due to the beetle bugs?

    • LLE Support on June 20, 2023 at 4:51 pm

      Those should be killed during the kiln drying process!

  2. Beverly Williams on August 16, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    Looking for wood

  3. Greg Teslovich on July 19, 2022 at 9:52 am

    I purchased a complete bedroom set made of maple worm wood. After several days I noticed a fine sawdust in little piles on my carpet. It has become apparent that the worms are alive and continue to make small piles of dust on the carpet below the bedrails. I plan on applying boric acid powder to the boards in hopes of stopping this!

    • Lancaster Live Edge on September 6, 2022 at 6:11 pm

      It sounds like your wood wasn’t dried properly. Kiln drying should kill any bugs living in wood. I would recommend reaching out to the company who sold you the bedroom sets. Any wood used for furniture should be kiln dried beforehand.

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