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In the maple tree, where guitar builders get flame, figured, or quilted textures, the sapwood is actually more desirable than heartwood. Sapwood is the living, growing part of a maple tree (or any tree, for that matter). The sapwood in maple trees ranges from creamy white to very light tan color with darker grain. Less than 2% of maple stock will yield flame or quilted patterns and only about 20% of all the figured maple is over nine inches wide, which is why maple tops are almost always two-piece. Finding maple wide enough for a one-piece top is rare and almost always more expensive.

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