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Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Does the Center of My Tree Look Like This?

Patrons visited the Newton Falls Public Library with a small section of wood which had been cut from an ash tree. They explained to the staff that it had not been affected by the ash borer, but part of the center was very unusually shaped and discolored in reds, tans, and browns.

We first looked in Diseases of Trees and Shrubs by Wayne A. Sinclair, Howard H. Lyon, and Warren T. Johnson. Using the index to find diseases of ash trees, we came across the section on Trunk and Limb Rots of Hardwoods (p.342). The trunk of a tree contains sapwood, which is alive and carries the sap through the tree, and heartwood. “Heartwood is dead, brightly to darkly colored wood that forms normally in the centers of trunks and large branches . . .” This is usually caused by decay due to rot caused by fungi.

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