Dictionary > Sapwood


The white, softer, outermost wood that has not yet become heartwood and is involved in conducting sap
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 sapwood is the part of the wood that is located between the bark and the heartwood. In contrast to heartwood that is found at the inner region of the wood, the sapwood is at the outermost part. The sapwood can also be distinguished from the heartwood in being light in color. However, the sapwood may become dark and discoloured such as when decaying. The sapwood is also softer and not as durable since the heartwood is more resistant to decay.
The sapwood consists of the living wood that primarily functions in the conduction of sap. Hence, all wood in a tree would initially be sapwood, then may form heartwood (from the center outwards) as the tree ages.
The volume of the sapwood may be used as an indication of the growth history of a tree. For instance, a tree that is able to grow rapidly in the open would have thicker sapwood. In contrast, a tree that grows in dense forest tends to have relatively thinner sapwood.

  • alburnum

See also:

  • secondary xylem
  • heartwood

    You will also like...

    Regulation of Biological Systems
    Regulation of Biological Systems

    Regulation of Biological Systems tutorials are focused on the modulation of biological systems from cell to population l..

    Sugar Homeostasis
    Sugar Homeostasis

    The blood sugar level is regulated by two hormones. The mechanism behind this type of negative feedback control is descr..

    human respiratory system

    The human respiratory system is an efficient system of inspiring and expiring respiratory gases. This tutorial provides ..

    Cambial cells
    Plant Tissues

    Plant organs are comprised of tissues working together for a common function. The different types of plant tissues are m..

    Mātauranga Māori and Science Collaboration
    Mātauranga Māori and Science

    Mātauranga Māori is the living knowledge system of the indigenous people of New Zealand, including the relationships t..

    Plant Water Regulation
    Plant Water Regulation

    Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..