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A section of a Yew, showing 27 annual growth rings, pale sapwood and dark heartwood, and pith (centre dark spot). The dark radial lines are small knots.


heart +‎ wood


heartwood (countable and uncountable, plural heartwoods)

  1. The wood nearer the heart of a stem or branch, different in color from the sapwood
    A popular myth is that heartwood is stronger than sapwood.
    The staves are split from the heartwood. The heartwood is composed of dead cells; it supports the tree, but no longer has any physiological purpose. The staves must follow the grain of the wood to achieve a watertight cask, so they are split rather than sawn.L'encyclopédie du Cognac: From log to stave