Dictionary > Heartwood

Heartwood

Definition
noun
The central wood in a branch or stem characterized by being composed of dead cells, more resistant to decay, generally darker and harder than the outer sapwood
Supplement
In vascular plants, the xylem is the vascular tissue that is responsible for the conduction of water and nutrients from the roots. It may be classified as primary or secondary, depending on the origin of growth. In particular, the primary xylem comes from the procambium whereas the secondary xylem arises from the vascular cambium. The secondary xylem may differentiate into sapwood and heartwood.
The heartwood is located at the inner part (center) of the wood. It is called as such because of being located at the center of the wood. Some trees, though, do not form heartwood but only sapwood. Compared with sapwood, the heartwood is darker, harder, and rather resistant to decay. This is due to the deposition of various chemical substances such as gums, tannins, or pigments. The darker colour of the heartwood can make it easier to distinguish from the lighter sapwood.
The heartwood does not conduct sap. Its vessels are blocked due to tyloses. Thus, the heartwood is involved in providing structural support.
Synonym(s):

  • duramen

See also:

  • secondary xylem
  • sapwood


    You will also like...

    Community Patterns

    Learn about community patterns and the ecological factors influencing these patterns. Revisit some of the ecosystems you..

    Population Growth and Survivorship
    Population Growth and Survivorship

    This lesson looks at population attributes, regulation, and growth. It also covers population genetics, particularly gen..

    Genetics and Evolution
    Genetics and Evolution

    Humans are diploid creatures. This means that for every chromosome in the body, there is another one to match it. Howeve..

    Disturbance on a still water
    Abiotic Factors – Water Conditions

    A still body of water may be disturbed by a variety of factors. One of them is wind. In fact, it is considered as the pr..

    Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems
    Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems

    There are many environmental factors that arise due to the usage of water in one way or another and for every action tha..

    genes controlling growth and development
    Control of Growth & Development

    Control of Growth & Development tutorials look at how the genetic makeup determines the biological processes on a da..