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Any ideas what this is?10/25/14
I bought some quarter sawn white oak and found this in the sap wood of some of the pieces. I assumed it was some kind of wood worm/Beatle but was curious as to why it would show as black. Hopefully that this was treated but for now I'm cutting away any that I find.
If just in the sap wood, it was probably a standing dead tree cut from the forest and some bugs were under the dead bark. I don't know how bug holes are handled in hardwood grading rules.
I have seen it before and thought it was from some mineral perhaps.
It appears to be a black tarry deposit found rarely in the sapwood of oak. It will bleed into the wood slightly at times and can also bleed easily through a light colored finish. It comes into the living tree. It is related to a geographic area, so it goes away when trees from another area are logged. Even in a susceptible site, only a few trees have this. What it is and its cause are not known. I have seen it only in oak.
We also see some black streaks in other species related to a fungal infection, but it does not appear like what you have here.
Looks like it could be interesting visually in the right place, like in some intarsia or other ornamental woodworking.
If it does not look right in this piece, don't be shy about saving it for later or trading it to someone who might want something odd.