What is a Mineral Streak

A mineral streak is a black, grey or olive line or band present in a portion of the wood that contains more minerals than the surrounding material. Mineral streaks are more commonly found in woods with lighter grains, such as maple, cherry, hickory and basswood. They're created when a tree draws minerals from the soil and is cut down before those minerals can be properly distributed. Generally, it is believed that mineral streaks add character to the wood and increase its aesthetic value. That said, some carpenters try to avoid then in cabinetry construction so as to maintain a uniform appearance in the finished product; they may cut around the streak, for example, or bleach that area in order to lighten it.