Quilted Maple

Acer macrophyllum

Trade Names

Quilted Maple, Shell Maple

Similar Woods



West coast of USA


This is the so-called “Big Leaf Maple”, the type of Maple with the largest leaves. The trees grow along the West coast of the United States, from the southern part of British Columbia to Southern California in altitudes up to 1,500 m. This type of “quilt” develops very seldom, especially in trees of veneer qualities which are singled out tree by tree. It has not been examined what causes the growth of this shell-like characteristic and one can only speculate so far.


Since Quilted Maple is one of the most expensive wood species as such, its use is restricted to the most exclusive interior decorating work. An exception is the automotive industry, where short lengths of this wood are used for the production of dashboards, however, a very high price has to be paid for the selection of Quilted Maple for this product. In the country of its origin, the wood is used for objets d’art.


On account of the shell-like characteristic of the almost white wood, a highly decorative, three-dimensional effect is obtained after surface finishing. Slicing is very problematic due to the constantly changing course of fibers and open defects can result very easily where torn fibers occur.


Problematic due to very easy tearing of fibers.


Must be dried very carefully as the wood is extremely prone to warping.


Problem-free. Takes lacquers well.


Attention must be paid to smooth surfaces in order to avoid faulty jointing.