Color: Heartwood is creamy white to light reddish brown; sapwood is pale to creamy white.
Wormy soft maple is the term used for lumber with dark streaks of discoloration throughout the board. This discoloration occurs in the species of maple that have the scientific name of Acer Rubrum. People in the industry also refer to it as red maple.
In the past, wormy soft maple would have been downgraded and sold at a lower rate than upper-grade soft maple lumber. That’s why it was a popular species for many furniture manufacturers who used it as a sturdy foundation under the upholstery. In recent years, however, wormy soft maple has become more of a requested item. The worm-like variations are now regularly considered a decorative feature, much like a rustic or character grade, and is growing in popularity, demand and cost.
Grain: Closed, subdued grain, with medium figuring and uniform texture. Occasionally shows quilted, fiddle-back, curly, or bird’s-eye figuring. Figured boards often culled during grading and sold at a premium.
Variations Within Species and Grades: Black maple (B. nigrum) is also hard; other species are classified as soft.