The heart of a tree

Did you know that a tree has a heart? Not a beating heart that we have but a heart of dead wood that runs through the centre of the tree.

This actually helps the tree, because this dead wood, known as duramen, is more resistant to decay, so means the tree is less likely to rot.

Heartwood of a sycamore © Rhian Davies

This photo shows a sycamore tree that has split revealing the heartwood inside. It is common for the heartwood to be much darker than the surrounding living wood, known as the sapwood or alburnum.

There are cases however, where the heartwood completely rots away leaving a hollow tree made only of sapwood.

The term heartwood is thought to have come about purely as a result of the location of the wood in the centre of the tree.

Bye for now,

Rhian (Seasonal Ranger)

Preface

Did you know that a tree has a heart? Not a beating heart that we have but a heart of dead wood that runs through the centre of the tree. …

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