Name that plant

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  • Date Photo Taken

    11 / 23 / 2013

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My brother is building a house in South Fulton County (Palmetto). When they were clearing the lot they found this in the trunk of a tree. He cut several pieces to make sure it wasn’t in just that one place; and it wasn’t. It was in every slice he sawed. Any idea what it is. It is beautiful!!


  • Sandra Thompson Unregistered says:

    We had some of this cut into boards just to see what it was like inside. Beautiful flames!

    December 28th, 2013 at 10:28am

  • parityanimal Master Identifier says:

    So it’s a fungus infected lightning beetle-bug worm? 😉

    December 25th, 2013 at 9:52am

  • Walter Reeves The Georgia Gardener says:

    Everyone – I think the note from Ed Rigel above explains the situation correctly. Thanks for all of your input! I have notified the submitter of the original post that they can contact me if they want to pass the wood to someone. I have not heard from them yet.

    December 25th, 2013 at 8:13am

  • conosieur de bunk Unregistered says:

    beautiful inking, needs to be hanging in the arts center with the artists signature

    December 24th, 2013 at 7:12am

  • redarrowrancher Unregistered says:

    I agree with the Christmas miracle or God showing off

    December 23rd, 2013 at 9:35pm

  • Hought Wahl Unregistered says:

    Well – not exactly, Dick. It is true that lightening strikes box elder more often than most – but then this tree grows mostly in stream bed areas. and it is true that wood turners love this. When one turns a piece of this wood – the worm holes become very evident – it is these worms that bring in the fungus that attacks the tree. It is in those fungus infected areas that the worms mature and lay eggs – for future generations. I am not a botanist – but this is what I have been told. In other types of maple (silver, red) there is a similar effect, but not the color that sets box elder apart. If you have this wood – I would like this wood. Period. 🙂

    December 23rd, 2013 at 8:06pm

  • rsearl Registered says:

    So, is it a fungus heart rot, lightning or…? I did notice that at the 8 o’clock position is a pattern that looks very much like a bird’s head.

    December 23rd, 2013 at 5:54pm

  • Dick Chenoweth Unregistered says:

    Lightening…. this happens when lighyening strikes a Box Elder tree…wood turners highly prize this.

    December 23rd, 2013 at 4:20pm

  • Lecia Unregistered says:

    I think it’s just beautiful whatever caused it.

    December 23rd, 2013 at 4:18pm

  • Woodpappy Unregistered says:

    It is indeed “Flaming” Box Elder. I have made bowls and pens from pieces like this. This appears to be an exceptional piece. Please wrap the wood in paper bags to avoid splitting from drying out too quickly. I too would like to buy a piece. Contact me at

    December 23rd, 2013 at 3:51pm

  • carolyn Unregistered says:

    I think someone had fun drawing a poinsettia

    December 23rd, 2013 at 3:54pm

  • Ed Rigel, Sr. Unregistered says:

    From a friend, a retired Plant Pathologist at UGA: “It is a fungus heart rot. It is a basidiomycete and forms a fungus fruiting body generally at the base of the tree or at a breakage of a limb or weak trunk area. There are a number of these fungi and I would need to know what type of tree it is to determine the exact fungus. These are fairly common.” “Box Elder is the tree. It is in the maple family and is generally grown in bottom land and wet areas. A red stain in the wood of living trees caused by Fusarium reticulatum var. negundinis apparently is specific to boxelder. The stain regularly is associated with Cerambycid beetles and the galleries of other insects, but itself does no damage to the wood (14). 14. Hepting, George H. 1971. Diseases of forest and shade trees of the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook 386. Washington, DC. 685 p.”

    December 23rd, 2013 at 2:40pm

  • Hought Wahl Unregistered says:

    I would like to join the line willing to pay for some or all of that box elder!

    December 23rd, 2013 at 1:30pm

  • Judy Cook Unregistered says:

    I’ll just believe it is a Christmas miracle!!

    December 23rd, 2013 at 12:53pm

  • Joanna Unregistered says:

    What beauty that was hiding in that tree that you uncovered. Thank you for publishing!

    December 23rd, 2013 at 11:57am

  • Shannon Pable Unregistered says:

    I know wood workers that would pay high dollar for that wood! Beautiful! I’m guessing it’s maple wood…perhaps Ash-leaved maple (AKA box elder). The red coloration most commonly found in maples is due to a pigment found in a fungus (Fusarium negundi)

    December 23rd, 2013 at 11:27am

  • Pete Lammers Unregistered says:

    I don’t know what causes it or what it is but I sure wish I had it. I could create a beautiful bowl from a lathe with that.

    December 23rd, 2013 at 11:41am

  • Sue Pritchett Unregistered says:

    Beautiful! I would like to buy a slice, please.

    December 23rd, 2013 at 10:37am

  • Steiph (like BEEF) Zargon Unregistered says:

    Sorry for all the ad on notes… but – if there is any of that wood available… I would gladly turn a bowl or other vessel for the owner in exchange for a few nice pieces of that trunk. Thanks Zargon

    December 23rd, 2013 at 10:59am

  • Steiph (like BEEF) Zargon Unregistered says:

    BTW: I remember hearing you say, or thought I did, that the tree was a PINE tree… however upon looking at the photo again… looks more like it may indeed be a MAPLE??? Zargon – in Decatur

    December 23rd, 2013 at 10:16am

  • Steiph (like BEEF) Zargon Unregistered says:

    Looks like the “Ambrosia Beetle” has made a mark on that tree. Similar patterns show up in Maple – usually not so red – but very similar. One might also look into the effects of the Japanese Beetle on Pine tress. I don’t think it’s a fungus. However; this type of pattern in wood is MUCH sought after by woo turners, especially, and by most woodworkers. Good luck in determining the REAL cause.. I can’t wait to find out! Zargon in Decatur (Yes, I am a Wood Turner.) 😉

    December 23rd, 2013 at 10:52am

  • Walter Reeves The Georgia Gardener says:

    I think Bobby has been wearing his thinking cap…I agree that it’s fungal due to the patters. Blue stain fungus is common in pines but why this one is red I don’t know.

    December 11th, 2013 at 4:06pm

  • Bobby Master Identifier says:

    Amazing! I wonder if the color could be preserved. I have a feeling that it is caused by a fungal disease. I’ve found similar patterns associated with Dutch elm disease here: Looking forward to the answer on this mystery!

    December 3rd, 2013 at 9:20am

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