What is Sapwood?

Sapwood refers to the outer layer of wood in a tree trunk that is actively involved in the transportation of water and nutrients. It is the living, younger portion of the tree’s growth rings, located between the cambium layer (the growing part of the tree) and the heartwood (the inner, older, non-living portion of the tree).

Sapwood is typically lighter in color compared to heartwood and often has a higher moisture content. It may have a pale yellow, white, or light brown hue, depending on the tree species. The sapwood’s color can also vary within a single tree species or even within a single log.


In terms of characteristics, sapwood is generally less dense and more susceptible to decay, insect infestation, and damage compared to the heartwood. It is also more likely to shrink and expand with changes in moisture content. As a result, sapwood is often less desirable for certain applications where durability and stability are important factors, such as in structural components or outdoor use.

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